Many of us have walked past the old-looking building at 253 Mile End Road, often without realizing that it is old, but not as old as expected, and seen the plaque about the adjacent Velho (Old) cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, the first Jewish cemetery in London since the expulsion.
I have several of these reports, and have chosen this one to scan, as 1909-1910 was a momentous year in the history of the institution.
The hospital, which became an old people’s home, was founded in 1747 by the Spanish and Portuguese community, and was transferred to this site in 1790. In 1977 it moved to Wembley, and this building was taken over by Queen Mary’s College.
As can be seen from reading the report below, the Trustees had become aware that the original building was in very poor condition, and they decided to raise money for a new building. The new building, which we see today, is built in the style of a 17th century house, but was actually constructed in 1912.
The report lists the “inmates” and their ages, explains why two had left, and details the treats and presents that they had received as donations. The list of Governors and Subscribers demonstrates support for the institution from the Grandees of the Bevis Marks Synagogue.