David Behrend (1792-1863)
George Henry Behrend (1826-1903)
by Joe Wolfman and Saul Marks
David Behrend (1792-1863)
David Behrend was born in 1792 in Hanover and came to England in 1809. He seems to have arrived in London penniless. A German nephew of his recounts that during a visit to England in 1856, his uncle showed him in one of the slums of the City of London the “most miserable of all houses where he had once as a hapless youth at the beginning of the century found shelter at night with money obtained by begging.” He may have been in Liverpool by 1812, and he was soon prosperous enough to rent a seat in Liverpool’s Seel Street Synagogue. In 1816/17 he is on the books of the Liverpool Philanthropic Society as a donor, not a recipient. He may have already been working for Charles Bahr, a Dane, who had established a ship-broking agency (i.e. an agency arranging the shipment of goods). In 1835, he became a partner. The firm of Bahr Behrend exists to this day in Liverpool.
David married twice: Priscilla Aaron of Liverpool in 1823 and, two years after her death, in 1835, Maria Hess, who belonged to a leading Liverpool family. He had two sons by Priscilla, George Henry and Henry Michael, and one son by Maria, Samuel Hesse. David was Senior Treasurer of the Old Hebrew Congregation’s Seel Street Synagogue in 1845-46 and Senior Warden twice: 1851-52, 1855-57.
Maria Behrend( née Hess; 1793-1860)
George joined the family firm and was very close to his father in business and synagogal affairs. He and Charles Bahr’s son continued and expanded their fathers’ business during the second half of the 19th century. George was Senior Treasurer of the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation in 1861-62 and Junior Warden in 1870-71. He was also Norwegian Vice-Consul. His second wife, Hester Philips, lived to be 92 years, and a copy of a book of Jewish prayers and meditations which she compiled is in the Montagu Yates Library in the Liverpool Reform Synagogue. She was the last person to be buried at Deane Road cemetery, in 1929.
George’s son, Edward A Behrend, became the third generation of the family to serve as a warden of the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation when her was elected Junior Treasurer in 1913. He served in that post until 1917, when he became Senior Treasurer – a post he held until 1922.
- Sonneborn, CB (2000) “The Behrends of Rodenberg: a Worldwide Family Genealogy”, privately published, pages 185-214.
- Wolfman, J (1991) “Archivist’s Corner” in the magazine of the Liverpool Progressive Synagogue, November/December 1991, page 8.
David Behrend (1792-1863): A 06.26
Maria Behrend (née Hess, his second wife; 1793-1860): A 05.27
Samuel Solomon Behrend (his brother; 1794-1865): A 07.15
George Henry Behrend (David’s son; 1826-1903): A 24.03
Elkah Behrend (née Mendez de Costa, George’s first wife; 1831-1857): A 04.26
Hester Behrend (née Philips, George’s second wife; 1837-1929): A 24.04