Isaac Bright

Isaac Bright (1762/3-1849)

by Isobel Connell

There seems to be no definitive record of where Isaac Bright came from originally, or what his original last name was. What is known is that Isaac and his younger brother, Philip, arrived in Sheffield in about 1786 and that both of them became jewellers and silversmiths. They certainly formed part of the earliest community of Jews in Sheffield and possibly helped found the first synagogue there.

Isaac married Ann Micholls, who is also buried in Deane Road Cemetery. She was the daughter of Henry Micholls (also known as Hirsch Nicholls of Dereham, Norfolk). Isaac and Ann had ten children, and dozens of grandchildren, many of whom also became jewellers. The eldest sons, Maurice (1796-1848) and Selim (1799-1891), kept on the family business, Bright & Sons, in Sheffield until Maurice’s death in 1848. After that, Selim continued the business both in Sheffield and in Buxton, where he lived, and Maurice’s widow, Henrietta, and their sons Herbert and Frederick opened yet another branch in Scarborough. Another of Isaac and Ann’s sons, Henry Bright (b.1817), became a jeweller in Leamington and eventually became the Mayor of that town. The youngest son, Edward (b.1819), was in partnership with Henry for a while but then moved to Brighton and set up as a jeweller there.

The youngest daughter of Isaac and Ann was Rebecca (1814-38). She is buried in Deane Road Cemetery along with her husband, Henry Lyon (1805-78) and daughter Charlotte (1837-82). Other descendents included a grandson, Horatio Bright (1829-1906), who was well known in the Sheffield community as a very colourful though successful steel manufacturer. A grandson, Maurice DeLara Bright (1825/6-1902), was a composer who wrote several marches that were played at Buckingham Palace for Queen Victoria, and a great-granddaughter, Dora Bright (1863-1951), was a well known musician and songwriter.

Isaac’s brother Philip Bright (1784-1841) set up as a jeweller in Doncaster. In 1830, he made the Doncaster Gold Cup, with a value of 150 guineas. Philip’s second wife Sarah Jacobs was the sister of David Jacobs Jackson who is also buried in Deane Road Cemetery.


- Lamb, D (date unknown), “Lest We Forget”.
- Lipson, E (1947), “The Brights of Market Place” in “Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society”, Vol 6.

Grave References
Isaac Bright (1762/3-1849): A 02.33
Ann Bright (née Micholls, his wife; 1774/5-1847): A 02.20
Rebecca Lyon (née Bright, their daughter; 1814-1838): A 01.05
Henry Lyon (Rebecca’s husband; 1805-1878): A 13.02
Charlotte Lyon (Rebecca & Henry’s daughter; 1837-1882): A 16.03