Other religious bodies

Pages 332-333

A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 1, the City of Kingston Upon Hull. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.

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With no medieval Anglo-Jewish community, the origin of the Hull Jewry lies in the 18th century. (fn. 1) The Old Hebrew Congregation met first in a former Roman Catholic chapel in Posterngate which it repaired after damage done during the Gordon riots of 1780. Its leading member may have been Michael Levy, a watch-maker, who was registered at Hull in 1770. (fn. 2) In 1796 it was said that 20–30 people attended the synagogue. (fn. 3) After differences within the congregation, a second synagogue was established by Joseph Lyon in the 1820s, but the congregation was re-united by 1826. (fn. 4) The average Sabbath attendance was said to be only 40 in 1834, (fn. 5) and the Jewish population of the city was 65 in 1847. (fn. 6) On the day of the 'Religious Census' in 1851 attendances at the synagogue were 74 in the morning, 17 in the afternoon, and 21 in the evening. (fn. 7) There were 80 members in 1854 and 112 in 1870. (fn. 8)

Three other congregations have been established —the Central in 1886, whose first meeting-place was in School Street, the Western in 1902, meeting in Linnaeus Street, (fn. 9) and the New in 1928, meeting in Lower Union Street. (fn. 10) The New Congregation ceased to exist during the Second World War. The successive meeting-places of these congregations, as well as several mission rooms, have all been situated in the area immediately to the west of the Old Town, and since 1903 the Old Congregation has met there, too. In 1962, when the Jewish population of Hull was said to be 2,000, the Old Hebrew Congregation had a membership of 250 and the Western of 360. (fn. 11) In 1964 the Central Congregation numbered about 80 families. (fn. 12)

The first Jewish burial ground was situated off Walker Street. Some time after 1812 it was replaced by a larger ground in Hessle Road, but this was closed in 1857 and in the following year a cemetery was opened at Marfleet. An additional cemetery in Ella Street was opened c. 1900. (fn. 13)

The work of the Hull Hebrew Board of Guardians includes the provision of homes for old people. A house in Anlaby Road was bought in 1953 to be used for flats: in 1961 ten old people were living there, and five in an old people's home. (fn. 14)

In the list of places of worship below, which was compiled in 1964, the sources cited by numbers are as follows:

1. Charity Commission files.

2. General Register Office, Somerset House, Worship Register.

3. Directories of Hull.

4. Eastern Morning News, 17 April 1928.

5. Sheahan, Hist. Hull.

Adelaide Street: a mission, mentioned in 1926.(3)

Cogan Street: the former Congregational chapel, acquired in 1914 to replace School Street. It was replaced by West Parade in 1940(2) and destroyed during the Second World War (Jewish Year Bk. 1962, 104).

Great Passage Street: a mission, mentioned in 1914.(3)

Great Thornton Street: a mission, used from at least 1885 to 1900.(3) It was sold in 1922.(1)

Linnaeus Street: registered in 1902.(2) It was designed by B. S. Jacobs,(4) and built in red brick with yellow stone dressings.

Lower Union Street: the former Methodist chapel, used as a Jewish mission from 1916(3) and as a synagogue from 1928(4) until 1941, when it was damaged by bombing. It was subsequently repaired and was still used by Jewish youth organisations in 1964 (ex inf. Rabbi Dr. C. J. Cooper).

Nile Street: in use in 1878 (Wilberforce Ho. MSS, list of places of worship, 1878).

Osborne Street: opened in 1903, replacing Robinson Row.(2) It was enlarged in 1932. After being damaged by bombing in 1941, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1957.(1)

Parade Row (on the site of Prince's Dock): used in the 1820s after differences within the Posterngate congregation. They were re-united in 1826 and replaced by Robinson Row.(3, 5)

Park Street, Cogan House: replaced West Parade in 1951.(2) The building had housed Alderman Cogan's School until 1950, and was originally built as Lister's Hospital.

Posterngate: the former Roman Catholic chapel, wrecked during the Gordon riots in 1780 and rebuilt by the Jews. It was united with Parade Row and moved to Robinson Row in 1826. The building was used as a workshop in 1865.(5) It had apparently been demolished by 1964.

Prince Street: used for a time towards the end of the 19th century.(4)

Robinson Row: built in 1826 after Posterngate and Parade Row were united;(5) 100 sittings (H.O. 129/24/519–20). It was rebuilt in 1852 (Hull Advertiser, 1 Oct. 1852) and registered in 1856;(2) 250 sittings (O.S. Map 1: 1,056 (1856)). It was replaced by Osborne Street in 1903(2) and subsequently used as a warehouse; it is said to have been demolished in 1928.(4)

School Street: opened in 1887 (E. Morning News, 12 Sept. 1887) and replaced by Cogan Street in 1914.(2)

West Parade: replaced Cogan Street in 1940 and was itself replaced by Park Street in 1951.(2)


A small Moslem community in Hull has used three successive meeting-places since 1944. The source used is: General Register Office, Somerset House, Worship Register.

Great Thornton Street: registered during 1944.

Linnaeus Street: registered in 1959.

Waverley Street: registered from 1944 to 1959.


  • 1. See L. Rosen, Short Hist. Jewish Community in Hull (Hull, 1956). There is no corroboration of the existence of a synagogue in Dagger Lane, said to have been demolished c. 1700: J. Symons, 'An Ancient Synagogue in Hull' (Hull Pub. Libr.).
  • 2. C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry, 70–71.
  • 3. Tickell, Hist. Hull, 825.
  • 4. Roth, loc. cit.; Sheahan, Hist. Hull, 566–7.
  • 5. Stratten, Review of the Hull Eccles. Controversy (Hull, 1834), 44.
  • 6. Roth, op. cit. 110.
  • 7. H.O. 129/24/519–20.
  • 8. Roth, op. cit. 110; Rosen, op. cit. 7.
  • 9. Jewish Year Bk. 1962, 105.
  • 10. E. Morning News, 17 Apr. 1928.
  • 11. Jewish Year Bk. 1962, 105.
  • 12. Ex inf. Rabbi Dr. C. J. Cooper, Communal Rabbi of Hull.
  • 13. Sheahan, Hist. Hull, 568; York Dioc. Regy. (Minster), Order in Counc. 26 June 1855; directories.
  • 14. Char. Com. files.