Solomon Wolfe was born in Prussia in 1780. We know nothing about his early life, however by 1816 he was living in Bath, when he was named as a referee for a member of the Jewish community.
Solomon was the Reader (priest) of the first Bath Synagogue which opened around 1822 at 19 Kingsmead Square. Bath had a Reader, a priest appointed by the community, as it was too small to have a Rabbi appointed by the Chief Rabbi.
The first record of the Synagogue and Solomon was a court case recorded in the Bath Chronicle of 20 October 1824: Mr. B. L. Joseph, pawnbroker, of Bristol, (late of this city,) was indicted by the Rev. S. Wolfe, minister of the Jews' synagogue, for interrupting him whilst in the exercise of his religious duties. Owing to the kind interference of the prosecutor, his punishment was mitigated to the payment of fine of £5 to the King.
During the 1820s Solomon was also initiated into the Freemasons firstly in 1821 in Bath and then in 1829 into the Lodge of Rectitude in Melksham.
In May 1836, he married Phoebe Lyon, the granddaughter of Abraham Wolfe, one of the founders of the Portsmouth Synagogue. Solomon was 56 years old when they married - was he perhaps the son of Phoebe's grandfather Abraham? Phoebe and Solomon had two daughters, Frances born in 1837 and Hannah born 1841 in Bath.
Solomon could not make a living on his salary as reader so he supplemented his salary by working part of the week at his general dealers shop at 2 Lower Borough Walls, helped by Phoebe and their two daughters.
In May 1842 the new purpose-designed synagogue opened in Corn Street and Solomon continued as the Reader. He also acted as schochet (ritual slaughterer), probably the mohel (ritual circumciser) and from 1842 was the secretary of marriages .
In 1851 he became a naturalised British subject at the age of 71. Phoebe died in 1860. Solomon lived on at his home at 43 Walcot Street (now the YMCA) with his daughter Frances until his death at age 87. His headstone records the he was Reader to the congregation for 50 years.