Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling

Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling

Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling (December 21 1832 - January 12 1911) was a British Jewish banker, Liberal politician and philanthropist. He founded the bank of Samuel Montagu & Co. in 1853.

Born Montagu Samuel, he was the second son of Louis Samuel of Hunter Street, Brunswick Square, Middlesex, formerly of Liverpool, and Henrietta Israel, daughter of Israel Israel of Bury Street, St. Mary Axe, London. From 1885-1900 he was Liberal MP for the Whitechapel division of Tower Hamlets. Between 1887 and 1890, he was a member of the Gold and Silver Commission. He was created a Baronet, of Swaythling in the County of Southampton, on June 23 1894, and in 1907 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Swaythling, of Swaythling in the County of Southampton.

Although his daughter Lily would eventually found Liberal JudaismThe Times,"Hon. Lilian Montagu Social Improvement And Religion," 24 January 1963; pg 15 col B , Lord Swaythling, himself, was a pious Orthodox Jew, and devoted himself to social services.

Land owned by Montagu in Jeremys Green Lane, Edmonton now known as Montagu Road - was presented to the Federation of Synagogues as a burial strip. [ [ Edmonton Federation Cemetery] retrieved March 12 2008] At this time he was aware of the overcrowding in his constituency, and was especially keen to see Jewish families move out to the suburbs. In 1898, therefore, he proposed that land south of Salmons Brook, Edmonton - some 25 acres in all - be used for 700 houses, to house between 3000 and 4000 people. The houses were to have low rents and to include small gardens, with preference given to those currently living in Whitechapel. The project was first offered to the LCC, and then Edmonton UDC, both were prevaricated. In 1899 the proposals were rejected and Montagu subsequently gave £10,000 towards LCC housing on the White Hart Lane estate Tottenham. [ Godfrey A. (notes to) " Old Ordnance Survey Maps: London Sheet 4, Edmonton (SE) 1894" Alan Godfrey Maps, ISBN 0850549698 Retrieved March 12 2008]

His second son Edwin Samuel Montagu followed his father into politics. In 1915 he married Venetia Stanley (1887-1948), who in accordance with the will of the 1st Baron Swaythling converted to Judaism upon her marriage. Lord Swaythling's nephew was the noted Liberal politician and philosopher Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel.

Lord Swaythling married Ellen Cohen, daughter of Louis Cohen, in 1862. He died in January 1911, aged 78, and was succeeded in the baronetcy and barony by his eldest son Louis Montagu.

He was the maternal grandfather of the seminal medical researcher Philip D’Arcy Hart.

The name Montagu is remembered in Edmonton at Montagu Rd, Montagu Gardens, Montagu Crescent, Montagu Road School (demolished) and Swaythling Close.

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