© Marcus Roberts (2012)


Bookmark this page |  E-mail this page to a friend

Pages < 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   > 

Having established himself in business, Lissack felt that he could now marry. He became engaged, but at this point suffered a crisis. After his betrothal a brother got in contact with him from New York. He had made a success of himself in America and sent for his brother to come and join him in business. This was undoubtedly an opportunity of a life time - but in order to leave for America Lissack says that he would not have been able to honour his engagement.

In the typical style of the book Lissack says that the honouring of his promise - an exhibition of Jewish faithfulness - won over this wonderful chance and that in the long term he was blessed for it. However, while Lissack under plays the event, there can be no doubt that he was struck by an acute dilemma and staying in Bedford must have seemed a considerable sacrifice. He married in 1839 and settled permanently in Bedford.

In Bedford he continued trading, but illness forced him to seek alternative work. The Rev. John Wing got him tutoring work in German. This did not pay enough, so he started to trade in jewelry as well. Eventually he was to become a wine and spirit merchant by 1865.

However, the 1860s saw a serious downturn in Jewish numbers in Bedford, in fact by 1869 there were only two remaining Jewish families left, though Lissack continued to valiantly maintain High Holyday services. By 1870 he had become a governor of the Harpur Trust and continued to be involved in the general welfare of the town. One issue he fought on was the disorder and "vile language" that centered on the Oddfellow' Arms near his house. The pub survives to day and still has a reputation among locals for rowdy and noisy behavior after hours.

Eventually in 1883, Lissack left Bedford for retirement in London and left behind an excellent reputation. The local paper headlined him as an exemplary figure and a patriot whose example taught "Christians Christianity." He continued to be involved in the life of Bedford and considered himself to be a Bedfordian.

With Lissack's departure Jewish involvement and life in the town did not cease. Sir Philip Magnus became very involved with Bedford modern school from 1878 and was largely responsible for the innovative modernizations of its curriculum and making it one of the most forward looking schools in the country.

Post a Comment
Submit to this trail