Ellis Montefiore Joseph (1802-1880)

by Saul Marks

Ellis Montefiore Joseph

Ellis Montefiore Joseph was born in Liverpool in 1802, the son of Joseph Joseph (1762-1812) and Rebecca Montefiore (1773-1859), who had married at Canonbury House, near London, in 1799. Rebecca was the aunt of Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885), while Joseph was son of Simon Joseph (1722-1808), the head of the entire Liverpool Jewish community in the late 18th century. Therefore, Ellis was from the elite of Anglo-Jewry.

Ellis was apprenticed to cotton broker WL Wolstenholme before starting his own venture in 1833. His brother Maurice joined him in 1846 and the firm became “Joseph Bros”. Ellis was known for his concern that his cotton-spinning preserves would be used by rival brokers, and used to personally escort clients from outside Liverpool from his offices to their departing train in order to protect his interests. An amusing poem in the “Lays of Cotton Broking” reads: 

“And one shrewd man we all know well -
But names we shall never mention -
Gave them his arm to the carriage-door,
And paid them a deal of attention.

Some say he tipped the guard a bob,
Or a drop of something neat,
If a broker came, to go by train,
To say there wasn’t a seat.”

Ellis lived with Maurice and their other surviving brother, Joseph, in the Dingle district of Liverpool. Curiously, all three brothers died in quick succession and are buried in adjacent plots. Their mother possesses one of the most impressive tombs at Deane Road.

Ellison, T (1905), “Gleanings and Reminiscences”, Young & Sons, Liverpool, pgs 256-258.

Grave References
Ellis Montefiore Joseph (1802-1880): A 13.21
Maurice Montefiore Joseph (Ellis’ brother; 1801-1879): A 13.20
Joseph Montefiore Joseph (Ellis’ brother; 1804-1880): A 13.22
Rebecca Joseph (née Montefiore, their mother; 1773-1859): A 05.17