Rev Raphael Barnett (c.1814-1887)
by Saul Marks
Rev Raphael Barnett was born in the town of Krotoschin in Prussia (now Krotoszyn, Poland) c.1814. His father was the noted Rabbi Isaacher Beir Lichtenstadt (1760-1837) and was part of a large family with many siblings. Isaacher and his wife and children came to the UK probably in the late 1830s and took the surname Barnett. One of Raphael’s sisters was Rose Barnett, who married Louis Benas.
Raphael had married in Krotoschin and had a daughter there named Bertha around 1838. His name appears on the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation (LOHC) accounts sheet for the financial year 1842-43 as receiving a wage for services rendered as “third minister and shochet” (i.e. kosher slaughterer).
In the early 1850s, there is correspondence between members of the Liverpool and Krotoschin communities regarding Raphael’s personal affairs. It appears that Rev Barnett had come to Liverpool without his wife and daughter and had an arrangement to pay his wife £3 per quarter for Bertha’s upkeep. Raphael’s wife, whose name may have been Johanna, stated that she had not been receiving the agreed payments and those she had received were late. She wrote to LOHC begging for help to resolve the matter and Raphael was duly called before the committee and asked to explain himself. He appeared to have provided satisfactory proof that he had paid his wife the agreed sums.
By the late 1850s, Bertha had arrived in Liverpool and married Joseph Levin at LOHC in Seel Street Synagogue in 1858. She proceeded to have 9 children in 13 years and died in 1873 aged just 35. Although she died during the period that Deane Road Cemetery was highly active, she was not buried here.
Rev Raphael Barnett remained in the employment of LOHC until his death in 1887. Census records suggest his wife never joined him.
- Jewish chronicle, 4 May 2007, page 25.
- Papers of the Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation
Rev Raphael Barnett (c.1814-1887): B 02.02