Moses, Marcus

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MOSES, MARCUS (Mordecai Hamburger ; d. 1735), Anglo-Indian pioneer. Son of Moses Libusch, a leader of Hamburg Jewry, he married a daughter of the famous *Glueckel von Hameln and settled in London. Here his criticism of a divorce issued by R. Aaron *Hart brought him into conflict with the established Ashkenazi community. He was excommunicated and, in consequence, in 1707 set up his own synagogue (later the Hambro synagogue). Becoming impoverished in 1712, he went to Fort St. George (*Madras) in India and was involved in the purchase for the governor of Madras, Thomas Pitt, of the famous Pitt diamond, later sold to the regent of France. In 1721 he returned to England a wealthy man and built his congregation a new synagogue. In 1731 he went back to India where he died. His eldest son, known as moses marcus (b. 1701), was converted to Christianity and published in 1724 an autobiographical tract (later translated into Dutch) justifying his action, as well as books on biblical study.


C. Roth, The Great Synagogue, London (1950), 35–46, 114–9; Roth, Mag Bibl, 285, 351, 408; idem, Anglo-Jewish Letters (1938), 97–98; H.D. Love, Vestige of Old Madras, 4 vols. (1913); Hart, in: Jewish Historical Society of England, Miscellanies, 3 (1937), 57–76. add. bibliography: Katz, England, 206–15.

[Walter Joseph Fischel]