Non-christian religious bodies

Page 351

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1994.

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In this section


JUDAISM. (fn. 1)

In 1763 Hyman Waag, a Jewish lapidary, was living in Colchester, and Levi Alexander traded in the town as a silversmith and watchmaker in 1775. (fn. 2) In 1791 a Jewish marriage took place in Synagogue Yard which adjoined Quakers Alley in West Stockwell Street, (fn. 3) but there is no record of a synagogue there after 1794. (fn. 4) In 1796, when two Colchester men were among the trustees for a Jewish graveyard in Ipswich, Colchester Jews seem to have been worshipping there. (fn. 5) Tradesmen with Jewish names lived in Colchester in the 19th century, notably in 1848 when Michael Samuel, pawnbroker and silversmith, and Moses and Simon Hyam, tailors, were recorded, (fn. 6) but there is no evidence for a synagogue or any worshipping Jewish community in the town. (fn. 7) At least one member of the Hyam family became a Christian. (fn. 8)

The Colchester and District Jewish Association was formed in 1952. Between 1961 and 1969 the Jewish community met in a hall in Northgate House. In 1969 a new synagogue was built in Fennings Close to serve north Essex. (fn. 9)


Members of the Baha'i faith first met in Colchester c. 1970; a Spiritual Assembly was formed in 1976 and members met regularly in private houses in 1988. (fn. 10)


  • 1. This section was written in 1988. For Jews in medieval Colchester, above, pp. 27-8.
  • 2. Trans. Jewish Hist. Soc. xxv. 155; B. Mason, Clock and Watchmaking in Colch. 390.
  • 3. Anglo-Jewish Assoc. Quarterly, iii (2), 22.
  • 4. E.R.O., D/P 325/11.
  • 5. Trans. Jewish Hist. Soc. ii. 134.
  • 6. White's Dir. Essex, (1848), 109, 111.
  • 7. Trans. Jewish Hist. Soc. xvii. 182.
  • 8. E.R.O., Stockwell St. Cong. Ch. Bk. 1816-64.
  • 9. E.C.S., 24 Jan. 1969; G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 68180; Colch. Expr. 23 Oct. 1969.
  • 10. Inf. from Mrs. B. Begent.