Grave 24

Abraham Leon

1818  – 1897

Here lies
Abraham son of Joseph
HaLevi a small trunk
from the precious root
The Rabbi Magen Avraham
of blessed memory. Fifth generation
Died on 23rd 
and buried on 25th Sivan
May his soul be bound up in the bond of life eternal

אברהם בן יוסף
הלוי גזע קטן
מן השורש היקר
הרב מגן אברהם
ז"ל. דור חמישי
נפטר ביום כ"ג
ונקבר כ"ה סיון


Abraham Leon was born in Mecklenburg, North Germany where his father Joseph was a merchant. Abraham and his brother Salaman (who later anglicised his name to Edward) travelled between London and Germany for several years from 1839. By 1844 both had moved to Sheffield, where their older first cousin lived with his wife and family.

By the 1851 the census Abraham, an unmarried merchant was living in Solly Street, Sheffield. He applied for naturalisation in the same year, stating that  he was an 'unmarried Manufacturer of Hardware and Cutlery and a Merchant, living at 196 Solly Street and with a business at 190 Solly Street'. 

He was a skilled craftsman and at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 showed his 'American Hunters knives, various sizes from 20 inches downwards, in Morocco and electro-plate sheaths. Dagger knives, elector plate and Morocco sheaths, with black and pearl dotted handles. Also pierced electro plate, with silk velvet sheath'. His knives and razors are much sought after by collectors today and command high prices.

Around 1860 Abraham married Henrietta Meyerhof. Their son Joseph was born in 1862 and their daughter Golda in 1865. 

An entry for September 1879 in the bath synagogue minute book for A Leon, evidences that the family had moved to the city. It is likely that the family moved to Bath for Henrietta's  health. In his  will Abraham "acknowledges the constant and thoughtful devotion to her invalid Mother of my daughter Golda". In the 1881 census Abraham, a Steel Manufacturer, and Henrietta are recorded with Golda, now aged 16 a pupil at Bath High School and Joseph, now aged 19 an undergraduate at London University. Together with a cook and two servants they lived at Lime Lodge, Oldfield Park, a large house and garden, which Abraham rented for £55 pa.

Abraham was a senior member of the Bath Jewish community and one of the signatures for the 21-year lease for the Corn Street Synagogue in 1890. 
Henrietta died in 1894 and is buried in grave 35. Abraham died in 1897. In his will he directs that "my funeral shall be conducted with simplicity and economy and that there shall be no eulogistic matter on my tombstone".  His estate according to probate records amounted to £7,545, which is equivalent to about £1m in 2020.  Today his knives are much sought after by collectors and command high prices. 
Abraham is a fifth generation descendant of  of Rabbi Abraham Abele Gombiner (1635-1682)  a Rabbi, Talmudist and leading religious authority in Poland who wrote  Magen Avraham one of the most important commentaries on Schuichan Aruch, the code of Jewish Law 

Abraham was born in Mecklenburg Germany in 1818. His father was Joseph Liebermann Leon, born in 1785 in Mecklenburgh a merchant and his mother was Emilie Salamon born in Hanover in 1787. 

 Abraham was the youngest of three children. He had a sister Sabine born in 1813 and a brother Salamon born in 1816. 

There is a record for Salamon Leon from Germany arriving in the port of London in July 1939. It is likely that he anglicised his name to Edward. There is a record for Abraham Leon, born in Mecklenburg, arriving in the port of London in May 1840. In his naturalisation application, Abraham states that he travelled frequently between Germany and England until 1844 when he decided to  settle permanently in Sheffield. 

There is a record for Henrietta Meyerhof arriving Port of London from Bremen December 1859.

Abraham and Henrietta had two children:
Joseph born 1861 Sheffield, Yorkshire
Golda born January 1865, Sheffield, Yorkshire.

The death of Henriette Leon, aged 71, was registered 1894/Q3 Bath (grave  35). There was a death notice in the Bath Chronicle. The death of Abraham Leon, aged 78, was registered 1897/Q2 Bath. There was a death notice in the Bath Chronicle of Thursday 1 Jul 1897.

From the National Probate Calendar 1897: 'LEON Abraham of Lime- lodge Wells-road Bath retired steel-manufacturer died 23 June 1897'. Probate Bristol 17 September to Joseph Abraham Leon steel-merchant and Golda Elizabeth Leon spinster. Effects £7,545 15s. 4d. 

Son: Joseph Leon
Married July 1893 London to Ester Phoebe Defries (1864-1949). Son Edward Joseph Leon born Oct 1894 Paddington London.
Son Walter Abraham Leon born Northwood, Middlesex 18 August 1987 (1900-1897).
Son Henry, born 1903 Wood Green Middlesex.
Death of Joseph Leon: 24 May 1934 Paddington.

Golda Elizabeth Leon
Married April 1898 Paddington London to Harry Zwi Hirsch Heilbut. (1855-25 November Amsterdam).
Birth of daughter Frederika Olga Heilbut (1899-1943).  Emigrated  to New York 1940,  filed for naturalisation 1946, Death: Jan 1967, Pinellas, Florida US?
Brother: Edward, a furrier, married Emma Meyerhof (Henrietta's sister?) in 1852 in New York. They had three sons and Edward died in New York in 1877. 
Census records
  1851   7  Solly St   Sheffield
Name | Age
  1861   17  Endcliffe Vale   Sheffield
Name | Age
  1881   Lime Lodge  Wells Road   Bath
Name | Age
  1891   Lime Lodge  Wells Way   Bath
Name | Age