Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Four Generations of Nathaniel & Phoebe Solomon

Generations of the Solomon Family starting from Nathaniel Solomon
(1754-1816). (extracted from Internet).

Nathaniel Solomon was born in 1754 in Kent, England. He married Phoebe de Mitz or Metz circa 1774 (approx.).  Nathaniel died in 1816.

Phoebe De Metz was born in 1745 (approx.) in Leiden, Holland and was part of a Dutch Jewish family some of whom settled down in London. Phoebe's father was Simon be Menhame de Metz. Source = Jewish Genealogy,

Phoebe married Nathaniel at the age of 15. She died at the age of about 89, in comfortable Phoebe de Metz circumstances, on 19 February 1834. 

Phoebe and Nathaniel Solomon had a great number of children, some of whom are:
Edward Solomon (1774-1855),
Charles Solomon (1776 - ),
Saul Solomon (1776-1852),
Benjamin Edward Solomon (1777 - ),  
Joseph Solomon (1789-1861),
Lewis Solomon/ Gideon (1789-1868).

First Generation – the children of Nathaniel Solomon and Pheobe De Metz.

1. Edward Solomon, son of Nathaniel Solomon and Phoebe De Metz, was born circa 1774 in Margate, Kent, England. He was a Law Clerk who died on 10 May 1855 in Southwark, Surrey. Edward married Rachel Joseph. Rachel Joseph was born circa 1790 in Aldgate, London. Rachel died on 18 June 1859 in Southwark.  

Rachel Joseph and Edward Solomon had the following children: 
Nathaniel Solomon (1811-1894), Joseph Solomon (1812- ), Saul Reginald Solomon (1816- ), Rosetta Solomon (1818- ), Simon Solomon (1820- ), Benjamin Solomon (1821- ), Maria Solomon (1823- ), Isabella Solomon (1824- ), Phoebe Solomon (1826- ), John Solomon (1828- ), Adelaide Solomon (1830- ).

2.  Charles Solomon, son of Nathaniel Solomon and Phoebe De Metz, was born in 1776 (approx.) in Margate, Kent, England. Charles married Elizabeth Gazel on 22 April 1798 in St. Helena. We have no further information about Charles or his family at this stage. 

3. Saul Solomon, son of Nathaniel Solomon and Phoebe De Metz, was born on 25 December 1776 in Margate, Kent, England. At some point in his life, Saul travelled to St. Helena, South Atlantic where, after some considerable time, he established himself as a Merchant and Agent. The St Helena Solomon's and their connections monopolised the prestigious albeit non-salaried post of Sheriff on the island:  Saul snr 1839-1842 and 1846-1850; his brother Lewis Gideon (who had taken on a new surname) 1842-1844 and 1852-1856; his son Nathaniel 1853-1855 and 1859-1860; his partner George Moss 1870-1880; and his other son Saul jnr 1880-1888.

The internet article below is from “In search of Saul Solomon of St Helena 1776-1852”.  
Saul Solomon married Margaret Lee in circa 1800. After Margaret's death, Saul married Mary Chamberlain in 1815 in Saint Helena, South Atlantic. In 1815 Saul was living at Armstrong's Corner, St. Helena.  Mary Chamberlain died in June 1823 in St. Helena and Saul then married for a third time, a Harriet Bryan on 24 June 1823 in St. Helena.

Saul died of softening of the brain, paralysis, apoplexy, 9 months certified on 6 December 1852 inEastwood” in Portishead, Bristol, England. His death certificate gave his age as 75 and occupation "Consul", reflecting his appointments as "Consul for Lübeck, Bremen, Hamburg, the Brazils, Spain and Austria; Vice-Consul for Belgium; Consular Agent for France; and Commercial Agent for Holland.

"Saul's body was returned to St. Helena where he was buried at the north wall of St. James' Church. The graveyard has since been cleared to make way for a children's' playground but Saul's gravestone still survives and reads "Sacred to the Memory of S. Solomon, Esq., who died in England." It is thought that his daughter Miriam Solomon secretly brought her father's body back to St Helena for burial.

Biographical details for Saul Solomon: (Extract from article via Internet).
Saul's wish to return to St. Helena was honoured in a rather bizarre sequel, revealed by Mrs. Harriet Tytler sailing home from India in 1853 on the S.V. Camperdown. The notes say remains of Mr. Saul Solomon arrived on 2nd March 1853 - on the Perseverance.  At the Cape we …… took in fresh passengers, among them a Miss Solomon. …. [who] confided to some of us a burden on her mind... Unknown to everybody she had brought her father's corpse on the ship to have it buried on his beloved St. Helena. The burden was a terrible one for fear that if the sailors found it out, they would chuck her father overboard. Of course we were all under vow not to disclose the terrible fact of a corpse on board, so that when we reached St. Helena and the contents of that case were safely landed, her brother Nathaniel came on board and .... invited us to his hotel as guests.                                  

If the Camperdown's crew were unaware of the contents of Miss Solomon's luggage, people at St. Helena were not. Both local papers, recording the death of "our late Sheriff in London"[sic], had announced that he was to be buried on the Island, the St. Helena Chronicle reporting on 19 February "that his remains are at the Cape". Saul was buried on 4 March 1853 in St. James Church, Jamestown, St. Helena Island. (FHL Film No. 1259107, Gravestones and Memorials on St. Helena 1686-1975). The tombstone for Saul Solomon reads as follows:  “Sacred to the Memory of S. Solomon, Esq. who died in England on the Sixth of December 1852 Aged 76 years”.

(In 2017 with further research by Steve Winterton from South Africa and myself, we believe that Saul's daughter  Miriam Solomon was the one who secretly brought her father's body back to St Helena for burial.  In 1870, Miriam Solomon was recorded on the Baptisimal record for Ada Annie Solomon (born 1865) to be her Parent, a 56 year old Spinster.  Witnesses were Henry Solomon, Susan Solomon and Ann Knipe. Ada Annie Solomon married John Dunstan and died in South Africa in 1926).
If one man dominates St. Helena's history it must, according to 'the outside world', surely be Napoleon Bonaparte. But the experience of daily life tells St.Helenians differently. Long before Napoleon arrived, Saul Solomon had founded a business that, after 200 years, still wields all-pervasive influence over their affairs. Yet the founder is as little known as St. Helena's other benefactors. So what can a search, far from Island sources, reveal about St. Helena's "Merchant-King"?

Solomon's origins seem mantled in mystery. Where and when he was born, why and how he reached St. Helena, no-one yet knows. Tradition has it that he was born in London about 1776 and in his 'teens set out for India on a ship sailing via St. Helena. There he was left at death's door and nursed back to health by an officer's family. Geoffrey Kitching, pre-war government secretary, told W.E.G.Solomon that he was a corporal in the St. Helena Corps in 1796. But the India Office Library has no record of this.

During Saul's business career ships increased from about 150 to over a thousand a year, St. Helena became a haven for American whalers and a base for the Royal Navy's anti-slavery squadron, with a Vice-Admiralty Court condemning slavers and unseaworthy vessels to the benefit of Jamestown's ship chandlers.

Solomon had funds for speculation when it mattered, which perhaps explains partners such as the shadowy Dickson and Taylor, George Janisch of Teutonic Hall, and Robert Morrison, who had the fact inscribed on his grave in 1865. (Daniel Hamilton's memorial in 1867 also records service to the Company). But when calamity fell, like the collapse of the St. Helena Whale Fishery Co., it was rivals, Thomas Baker, John Scott and others, who lost, not Solomon, Gideon or Moss. Ironically, forty years later his successors ignored, or were ignorant of, this experience and made a disastrous investment in the Island whaler, Elizabeth. If Saul speculated unwisely, it has yet to be discovered. At the watershed of St. Helena history - the Island's transfer from the Company to the Crown in 1836 - he was again among the winners, as old Company landed families sold out at great loss, while merchants took their pickings and prospered.

Saul was no less skilful in climbing the social ladder as the Napoleonic era receded. Despite being 'in trade', which normally put one beyond the pale of polite society, he and his partners were invited to sit with 'gentlemen' on various committees - Benefit, Benevolent, Fire and those of other social welfare societies. Solomon, Gideon and Moss virtually ran the Annuity Fund Committee. Indicators abound of rising social status. In 1823 Saul's daughter Phoebe married Capt. T.M.Hunter of the St. Helena Artillery; in 1838 his son Henry (1806-47) became Colonial Surgeon and Health Officer, whose widow married Governor Sir Patrick Ross; they were leading Freemasons, churchwardens and JPs. For 50 years they almost monopolised the prestigious post of Sheriff ("no salary") through Saul Solomon (1839-42, 1846-50), Lewis Gideon (changed his name from Solomon) (1842-4, 1852-6), Nathaniel Solomon (1850-52, 1859-60), George Moss (1870-80) and Saul Solomon, jun. (1880-88). In short, during the founder's lifetime, Solomon & Co. became pillars of the Establishment and of the Church, to be symbolised finally by Homfray Welby Solomon (1877-1960), grandson of Bishop Welby, Churchwarden and Member of Council (from 1898), commercial and social Island Supremo - "King Sol". His death on 30 October 1960 at 83 ended the Solomon dynasty at St. Helena, and in 1974 the firm, dominating Island production and commerce, was 'nationalised' by the St. Helena Government. Among his Victorian competitors only W.A.Thorpe & Sons now survive as independent merchant-landowners. Saul was the undertaker at many Anglican funerals, including in 1818 at that of Napoleon's Roman Catholic valet, Cipriani."

We read in “Who's who in Jewish history: after the period of the Old Testament” By Joan Comay, Lavinia Cohn-Sherbok:
“On his way from England to India at the age of twenty, Saul Solomon (1775 - 1850) became ill and was put ashore on the Indian Ocean island of St. Helena. He became the leading merchant and ships purveyor on the island and an intimate of Napoleon during his years of exile there. His nephew, also Saul Solomon (died 1892), was educated in Cape Town and became the government printer and a leading newspaper publisher. Although tiny in stature, he was an influential member of the Cape legislator and its most effective debater. He married a non-Jew and was baptized. Other members of the family, all Christians, played a prominent part in South African life, and included a chief justice and the South African high commissioner in London”.

Saul Solomon’s family:
1st Marriage: Margaret Lee was born on 1 October 1792 in St. Helena, South Atlantic, and died in June 1815. She was buried on 14 June 1815.
Margaret Lee and Saul Solomon had 7 children: Benjamin Solomon, Phoebe Elizabeth Solomon, Henry Robert Solomon, Miriam Solomon, John Benjamin Solomon, Margaret Sarah Solomon, Lee Solomon.
Details of Phoebe, Miriam, Henry & Lee Solomon below:
Phoebe Elizabeth Solomon b. 20 May 1804 St. Helena. Phoebe married Captain Thomas Montgomery Hunter of the St. Helena Artillery on 15 October 1823. From the years 1824 to 1834 Phoebe and Thomas produced five children: Ann, Montgomery, Highland, Orby and Grace Hunter.
Henry Solomon (1806-1847) was the Colonial Surgeon & Health Officer in St Helena. Lee Solomon b. 19 March 1915 St. Helena. Miriam Solomon born 8 July 1808, a Spinster, at the age of 57 is recorded on the 1870 Baptismal record of Ada Annie Solomon born 1865 as Parent. Henry was a witness to that document.  It is thought that Miriam was the daughter that secretly brought back her father Saul Solomon to St Helena for burial in 1852.

2nd Marriage: Mary Chamberlain born 1790 in St Helena and died in June 1823 in St. Helena and was buried on 24 June 1823 in St. Helena. Mary Chamberlain and Saul Solomon had 2 children:
Saul Solomon b. 12 Aug 1818, St. Helena.
Nathaniel Lee Solomon b. 5 June 1822 St. Helena.

3rd Marriage: Harriet Bryan was born in 1800 (approx.) in St. Helena. Harriet Bryan and Saul Solomon had 2 children:
Mary Chamberlain Solomon (1825-1828).
William Solomon (1827- ? ).

4.  Benjamin Edward Solomon, son of Nathaniel Solomon and Phoebe De Metz, was born circa 1777 in Margate, Kent, England. Benjamin was a Merchant in St. Helena, South Atlantic, and married Johanna Petronella du Plessis on 11 October 1807 in Cape Town, South Africa. Johanna Petronella du Plessis was born on 8 March 1789 in Paarl, Cape Of Good Hope, South Africa.

Johanna du Plessis and Benjamin Edward Solomon had the following children:
Charles Benjamin Solomon (1808-1879), Jonathan Daniel Solomon (1810- ), Johannes Frederick Joseph Solomon (1812- ), Johanna Catharina Solomon (1815- ), Edward Adrian Pieter Solomon (1825-1908), Benjamin George Johan Solomon (1828- ), Phoebe Elizabeth Solomon (1830-1916).

5.  Joseph Solomon, son of Nathaniel Solomon and Phoebe De Metz, was born in 1789 in Margate, Kent, England. Joseph was an Innkeeper in St. Helena, South Atlantic & Foreign Merchant who married Hannah Moss on 7 July 1814 in St. Helena. (Source = National Archives of South Africa - Cape Town Archives MOOC, Vol 7/1/254, Ref 132, Year 1858)

Joseph's family went to Cape Town about 1834, leading to the rise of their son, Saul (1817-92) - the famous "member for Cape Town" and founder of The Cape Argus - whose memorial is in St. James' Church. Joseph died in 1861 possibly in Cape Town.

Joseph's Will dated 23 August 1858 shows the sole beneficiary to be his wife Hannah Solomon or should she predecease, their daughter Isabella Solomon. Sole executor was his son Saul Solomon.

Hannah Moss was born circa 1793 and died in 1858 in Cape Town, South Africa. She was buried English Church Graveyard, Somerset Rd, Cape Town. This graveyard no longer exists but many of the memorial stones were moved to Maitland Cemetery, Cape Town.

Hannah Moss and Joseph Solomon had 9 children:
Nathaniel Solomon (1815-1815) Baptised 3 June 1815 and buried 4 June 1815, Henry Solomon (1816-1900), Saul Solomon (1817-1892), Richard Prince Solomon (1818-1854),  Benjamin Solomon (1819- ?),  Edward Solomon (1820-1886), Isabella Solomon (1826-1897), Margaret Solomon (1828 – 1905), Rosa Solomon (born & died in St Helena).

6.  Lewis Solomon & later Gideon, son of Nathaniel Solomon and Phoebe De Metz, was born in 1789 in Canterbury, Kent. He was a Merchant, Jeweller & Notary Public in St. Helena. Lewis married Julia Magnus on 29 September 1818 in St. Helena. He died on 10 February 1868 in Marylebone, London, England. Lewis left a will dated 1 April 1863 and added a Codicil dated 13 September 1864. The Will was proved at London on 7 March 1868 in which the Executors named were his sons Henry Hamer and James Magnus Gideon, his wife's brother Samuel Magnus, his sons in law John William Bovell and Robert Alexander Loudon.

Julia Magnus was born in 1796 (approx.). She died on 25 November 1847 in London, England and buried Brady Street, Cemetery, London. She and Lewis Solomon & later Gideon had 11 children all with surname of Gideon.

Note: Conjecture:  Why did Lewis change his surname to Gideon - in St. Helena the Solomon's set up the firm of "Solomon, Moss, Gideon & Co." during the early history of the Island. Saul Solomon started the first "Press" on the Island and subsequent other businesses. It is probable that Lewis worked in the family business either managing or running the business under the name of "Gideon". At their birth, all his children were given the surname of Gideon rather than Solomon.


Second Generation – the children of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph.

1. Nathaniel Solomon, son of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1811 in Sheerness, Kent. Nathaniel married Elizabeth West in 15 April 1838 in Lambeth, London (As per London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921). Nathaniel became a Tobacconist who died in April to June quarter of 1894 in Lambeth (as per Elizabeth West was born in 1818 in Farnham, Surrey and died in 1869 in London, England.  Elizabeth West and Nathaniel Solomon had nine children.

2.  Joseph Solomon, son of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1812.

3.  Saul Reginald Solomon, son of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born on 21 January 1816 in Sheerness, Kent, and became a Solicitor. On 5 September 1855 he married Elizabeth Levy in London. Saul died on 31 March 1898 in Bayswater, Kensington, Middlesex. Elizabeth Levy, was born 1830 in St. Mary's Newington, Surrey and died on 22 April 1906 in Maidavale, London. Elizabeth Levy and Saul Solomon went on to have 12 children born between 1857 and 1876, - Edward, Maria, Rachel, Joseph, Isabel, Alfred, Montague, Frederick, Frank Percy, Herbert Lewis, George Goodman and Reginald Saul Solomon. (See the Elliott-Saurio Family Tree in

4. Rosetta Solomon, daughter of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1818.
5. Simon Solomon, son of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1820.
6. Benjamin Solomon, son of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1821.
7. Maria Solomon, daughter of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1823.
8. Isabella Solomon, daughter of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1824.
9. Phoebe Solomon, daughter of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1826.
10.John Solomon, son of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1828.
11.Adelaide Solomon, daughter of Edward Solomon and Rachel Joseph, was born in 1830.

Second Generation – the children of Saul Solomon and Margaret Lee.

1. Henry Solomon, son of Saul Solomon and Margaret Lee, was born in 1806. He was a Colonial Surgeon and Health Officer, St. Helena, South Atlantic. He died in 1847.

2. Phoebe Solomon, daughter of Saul Solomon and Mary Chamberlain, was born circa 1802. She married T.M.Hunter in 1823 in St. Helena, South Atlantic. T.M.Hunter was a Captain of St. Helena Artillery.

Second Generation – the children of Saul Solomon and Mary Chamberlain.

1. Saul Solomon, son of Saul Solomon and Mary Chamberlain, was born 12 August 1818 in St Helena.

2. Nathaniel Lee Solomon, son of Saul Solomon and Mary Chamberlain, was born 5 June 1822 in St Helena.


Second Generation – the children of Saul Solomon and Harriet Bryan.

1. Mary Chamberlain Solomon, daughter of Saul Solomon and Harriet Bryan, was born on 8 May 1825 in St. Helena. She was christened on 15 June 1825 in St. Helena. Aged 3, Mary died on 13 September 1828 in St. Helena and was buried on 14 September 1828 in St. James Church, Jamestown, St. Helena, South Atlantic.

2. William Solomon, son of Saul Solomon and Harriet Bryan, was born on 6 December 1827 in St. Helena.


Second Generation – the children of Benjamin Edward Solomon & Johanna Petronella du Plessis.

1. Charles Benjamin Solomon, son of Benjamin Edward Solomon and Johanna Petronella du Plessis, was born on 11 February 1808 at Paarl, Cape Town, South Africa and christened on 28 February. He married Elizabeth Jacoba Luyt on 9 October 1829 in Cape Town. Elizabeth Jacoba Luyt was born in 1812 and christened in Cape Town on 8 February 1812. She died on 19 February 1842 at Cape Town. 

Following her death, Charles married Anna Johanna Catharine Wannenburg in 1842 in South Africa. Anna Johanna Catharine Wannenburg was born on 10 July 1810 in Cape Town and died on 14 January 1879 in Cape Town.  Charles Solomon died on 14 July 1879 in Cape Town, South Africa and was buried Somerset Rd. Cemetery, Cape Town.

2. Jonathan Daniel Solomon, son of Benjamin Edward Solomon and Johanna Petronella du Plessis, was born in 1810 in Cape Town.

3. Johannes Frederick Joseph Solomon, son of Benjamin Edward Solomon and Johanna Petronella du Plessis, was born on 22 April 1812 in Cape Town.

4. Johanna Catharina Solomon, daughter of Benjamin Edward Solomon and Johanna Petronella du Plessis, was born on 27 November 1815 in Cape Town.

5. Edward Adrian Pieter Solomon, son of Benjamin Edward Solomon and Johanna Petronella du Plessis, was born on 17 May 1825 in possibly Cape Town, South Africa. Edward died in 1908.

6. Benjamin George Johan Solomon, son of Benjamin Edward Solomon and Johanna Petronella du Plessis, was born on 2 March 1828 in Cape Town.

7. Phoebe Elizabeth Solomon, daughter of Benjamin Edward Solomon and Johanna Petronella du Plessis, was born on 6 November 1830 in Cape Town. Phoebe married Heinrich Gersbach on 23 June 1851. She died in 1916 in Cape Town, South Africa and was buried 5 April 1916 at Woltemade Cemetery, Maitland, Cape Town.


Second Generation – the children of Joseph Solomon and Hannah Moss.

1. Nathaniel Solomon, son of Joseph Solomon and Hannah Moss, was born in 1815 in Saint Helena, South Atlantic. He was baptised on the 3 June 1815 and died shortly afterwards. Nathaniel was buried on the 4 June 1815 in St Helena, South Atlantic.

2. Henry Solomon, son of Joseph Solomon and Hannah Moss, was born in 1816 in Saint Helena. He was a Printer/Stationer & Part Owner of Cape Argus. Henry married Julia Sophia Middleton in 1840 probably in Cape Town. Henry died in 1900 in Cape Town.

In 1844 there came to live at the foot of Queens Road a man who might well deserve to be known as “the Father of Green and Sea Point”. His name was Henry Solomon, and for 56 years he lived at Sea Point Cottage, just above the beach, where flats called Albenor now stand. In that same house, where all his eleven children were born, he died in 1900 after giving nearly sixty years of devoted and entirely disinterested service to his community. Henry Solomon was born on the island of St Helena in 1816, the year after Waterloo.

He would often tell his children how, as a small boy, he was lifted up by his mother to look on the face of the dead Napoleon as the Emperor lay in state at Longwood. With one of his brothers, Saul, Henry Solomon was sent to England for his early education. Both boys developed rheumatic fever, an illness that left them crippled and - more especially, Saul - dwarfed in stature, but in other respects it affected them little. In 1831 the Solomon parents, with their children, left St Helena and came to settle in Cape Town, where young Henry eventually became an accountant. In 1840 he married Miss Julia Middleton, of Rondebosch, and four years later they came to live at Sea Point Cottage, one of the houses built shortly after the break-up of Alexander's estate in 1818.

Henry Solomon with his brother Saul started printing the “Cape Argus” in 1858.

Henry appears in Voters list of Western Cape for 1878 giving his residence as 49 & 50 St. George's Street. Also owned Sea Point Cottage, Sea Point. Also appears in Voters list of Western Cape for 1882 giving his residence as 42 St. George's Street, Cape Town.

Julia Sophia Middleton, daughter of Richard Middleton and Elise [Eliza] Mathilde Viner was born in 28 January 1821 in Marylebone, London, and was christened in St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town, South Africa. Julia died on 18 February 1885 at Sea Point in Cape Town. 

Julia Middleton and Henry Solomon had the following children:
Alfred Viner Solomon (circa 1854-1910), Mary Solomon (b.20 July 1848 Sea Point, Cape Town - d. 6 Jan 1935 at Fraserburg, Northern Cape, S.Africa) married Dr. John Henry Brown, Ellen Hannah Solomon (28 Dec 1844 Cape Town d. 22 April 1924 Cape Town), Henry Solomon ( - ), Annie Solomon,  Arthur Solomon,  Charles Solomon,  Eliza Solomon,  Harry Solomon, Isabel Solomon, Jane Solomon, Julia Solomon.

3. Saul Solomon, son of Joseph Solomon and Hannah Moss, was born on 25 May 1817 in Saint Helena. Saul was sent to England in 1822 to be educated with his elder brother Henry, under the care of a Jewish schoolmaster. After he ended is formal education in 1831 he was apprenticed to the bookseller and printer George Greig and eventually became a Partner in the company with his brother Henry. Not only was he a Publisher, but he became part owner of “Cape Argus”.

In 1865 Saul was resident in “Clarensville”, Sea Point, Cape Province.

Saul Solomon married Georgiana Margaret Thomson in 1873. At the time Saul was age 56 and Georgiana was 29! Saul appeared in the census on 5 April 1891 at 59 Bromham Road, St. Paul, Bedford.  On this census it shows: John S. Bloomfield, age 32, Servant, b. Old Kent Rd. London, Isabel Fraser, age 41, Visitor, b. Scotland, Bessie Mills, age 25, Servant, Daisy D Solomon, Dtr. age 9, b. Colonsay, Cambridgeshire, England, Georgina M. Solomon, Wife age 46, b. Scotland, Saul Solomon, Head, age 73, St. Helena, Atlantic Islands, Saul Solomon, Son, age 15, b. Colonsay, Cambridgeshire, England,  William E.G. Solomon, Son, age 11, b. Colonsay, Cambridgeshire, England.

Saul Solomon died of Chronic tubular nephritis, on 16 October 1892 in Windsor, Kilcreggan, Dumbarton, Scotland aged 75. The address at the time was: Windsor, Kilcreggan, Dumbarton.

Death cert obtained from Scotland's People shows that death was registered by his wife and their usual residence was given as “Clarensville”, Sea Point, nr. Cape Town, Cape Colony.

"Saul Solomon (b. St. Helena May 25, 1817; d. Oct. 16, 1892), the leader of the Liberal party, has been called the "Cape Disraeli." He several times declined the premiership and was invited into the first responsible ministry, formed by Sir John Molteno. Like Disraeli, too, he early left the ranks of Judaism, but always remained a lover of his people.

He went to Cape Town when a lad, where, with his brother Henry, he started a printing-office and, later, founded and edited the "Cape Argus."

Descendants of these two brothers, Justice William Solomon, Sir. Richard Solomon (attorney-general of the Transvaal), and Sir. E. P. Solomon, are to-day among the most eminent men in South Africa. The few other St. Helena Jews who settled there during Napoleon's banishment, the Gideon, the Moss, and the Isaacs families, were all related to the Solomon's, and, like the members of the last-named family, most of them drifted from Judaism.

Saul Solomon, with his brother Henry started printing the “Cape Argus” in 1858.

It may be said with little fear of contradiction that after John Fairbairn left to take up residence in the suburbs the most noteworthy person to make his home at Sea Point was Saul Solomon, who came to live at a house above the beach, well known as “Clarensville”, not far from where his brother Henry was living at Sea Point Cottage.

How Saul Solomon reached Cape Town from St Helena in 1831 has already been told; how, too, an early illness had left him a dwarf in stature. At Cape Town he became a printer and engraver. He started his own firm, and in course of time secured most of the Government printing contracts. He became the owner of “The Cape Argus” newspaper. When in 1854 Cape Colony was granted representative government, Saul Solomon was elected Member for Cape Town in the first Cape Parliament. 'For many years he exercised an authority and influence in the House such as later fell to Jan Hofmeyr . . . and, as in later years no eminent traveller considered his visit to the Cape complete until he had been to Groote Schuur or to Camp Street [where Hofmeyr lived], so travellers would repair to “Clarensville” to hold converse with the great little man.' The boy from St Helena had become the leading figure in Cape politics.

Saul Solomon bought “Clarensville” in 1865 from Mr James King, of Phillips and King, one of the leading firms in Cape Town at that time. It is not known how, or when, “Clarensville” acquired its name. The house stood in grounds that extended from what is now Clarens Road almost as far as Cassel Road. From Regent Road the estate stretched down to greensward at the water's edge, glimpsed through rows of tall pine trees; there were 60 of them in the grounds of “Clarensville”. No Beach Road yet disturbed the tranquillity of this corner of Sea Point.

Mrs Solomon had originally come to South Africa as principal of the Good Hope Seminary in Cape Town. Years later, after her husband had died and she was living in London, she became prominently associated with the Women's Suffrage Movement in Great Britain. Here, at “Clarensville”, she was hostess at Saul Solomon's famous dinners, to which were invited everyone who mattered in the world of politics. Here, too, she was hostess in 1879, when Cetewayo, the defeated King of the Zulus, was permitted to leave his captivity at the Castle to go to luncheon with the Solomon's at “Clarensville”. Cetewayo was only one of numerous Africans to be received there, for Saul Solomon was a fearless 'negrophilist' - to use the contemporary term.

All this sounds as though life at “Clarensville” was a very serious affair, but this was not the case. There were always young people about the place, not only Saul Solomon's own children but nephews and nieces to whom he gave a home at Sea Point. Among those taken in at “Clarensville” was Dick Solomon, who as a youngster had gone away to sea, serving at one time in the little mail ship Briton, of the Union Line. From her storm-swept decks, during that awful gale of 1865, he watched the other mail ship, Athens, steaming out of Table Bay to meet her doom at Mouille Point. Colonel R. Stuart Solomon, as he eventually became, was, in later life, closely associated with the well-known Cape Town person R. M. Ross, in Strand Street. He then lived at “Camelon House”, a spacious place behind “Clarensville”, where today, in Regent Road, there stand a nondescript Jewish Assembly Hall and a cheap conglomeration of shops. From time to time there were also three other nephews staying at “Clarensville”, sons of the Revd Edward Solomon. All three in later life attained to high office in the service of their country and were knighted: Sir Richard, Sir Edward and Sir William."

Georgiana Margaret Thomson was born on 18 August 1844 in Haymount, Makerstoun, Roxburgh, Scotland. Georgiana was the daughter of George Thomson (a farmer of 915 acres near Haymount, Roxburghshire) and Margaret. Georgiana died on 24 June 1933 at Eastbourne, Sussex, England.

Probate of Wills and Administrations shows the following: Solomon, Georgiana Margaret of Clarensville, 7 Helenslea Avenue, Golders Green, Middlesex, widow died 24 June 1933 at Esperance, Hartington Road, Eastbourne. Probate London 19 December to Daisy Dorothea Solomon, spinster. Effects - £3511 3s. 4d. (today this would be worth 172,792 64pence).

Short biography regarding Georgiana Solomon (nee Thomson):
“Mrs Solomon originally went to South Africa as Principal of the Good Hope Seminary in Cape Town. Years later, after her husband had died and she was living in London, she became prominently associated with the Women's Suffrage Movement in Great Britain. Here, at “Clarensville”, she was hostess at Saul Solomon's famous dinners, to which were invited everyone who mattered in the world of politics. Here, too, she was hostess in 1879, when Cetewayo, the defeated King of the Zulus, was permitted to leave his captivity at the Castle to go to luncheon with the Solomon's at Clarensville. Cetewayo was only one of numerous Africans to be received there, for Saul Solomon was a fearless 'negrophilist' - to use the contemporary term.

Georgiana and her daughter Daisy spent time at Holloway Prison in London at some point between 1905 and 1914 for their active and prominent roll in the Suffragette movement”.

Olive Schreiner wrote frequently to Georgiana Solomon:  (
"Georgiana Solomon was active in the pro-Boer movement in Britain during the South African War and after the war she travelled to South Africa where she spent time touring the ‘ruined areas’ and involving herself in rehabilitation and reconstruction work. Together with Annie Botha, wife of the Boer general and politician Louis Botha, she helped establish the SAVF in 1904. After her subsequent return to London she maintained her interest in South African affairs and was a member of the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society. She was an enthusiastic speaker and letter-writer and was involved in hosting members of various ‘native’ delegations which visited London between 1913 and 1919, and she acted as an important networker, particularly in relation to Solomon Plaatje. Most of Schreiner’s extant letters to Georgiana Solomon take the form of postcards written while she was living in London between 1914 and 1920, and are centered on activities and arrangements concerning their common interest in the ‘native question’ and South African politics. Schreiner wrote to Solomon to obtain information about Solomon Plaatje’s whereabouts, and also arranged for him to meet with John Hodgson. She also clearly attended political meetings at Georgiana Solomon’s home, commenting in a 1919 letter for example, “Your gathering was most interesting. How well Plaatje and all the delegates spoke!” Despite their shared interest in race matters, Schreiner and Mrs Solomon clearly disagreed with one another regarding the First World War, and Schreiner was forced to remind Mrs Solomon that she was a pacifist, adding in a letter of 1914, “So we’d better not talk about the war, dear Mrs Solomon. I think when two people have so many things in common as you and I have, we need never refer to the things about which we don’t agree. Don't you think so? We can’t all think alike can we?” It is possible to discern from her letters to others that even on matters relating to South African politics Schreiner did not always agree with Mrs Solomon’s views or tactics; in a 1917 letter to Will Schreiner she referred to Mrs Solomon and John Hodgson as a “distressing pair”.

Georgiana Margaret Thomson and Saul Solomon had the following children:
Saul Solomon (1875-1965) Barrister at Law/Judge, William Ewart Gladstone Solomon (1880-1965) Portrait /Landscape Artist & Biographer, Daisy Dorothea Solomon (1882- ).

4. Edward Solomon, son of Joseph Solomon and Hannah Moss, was born in 1820 and died in 1886. He lived at Bedford, Cape Province, South Africa.  Edward Solomon married Jessie Matthews.

Biographical Extract from
Born on St Helena, Edward, a younger brother of Saul and Henry, studied for the church and was a follower of the outspoken Dr John Philip of the London Missionary Society. Edward was ordained at the age of nineteen.  In the same year he married Jessie Mathews of Aberdeen, Scotland. The couple had a large family of nine children, most of them born under varied and difficult conditions in the many missionary locations in the Cape to which Edward was sent. He was rotund in figure and had a round full bearded face. A great reader, a good talker and an excellent correspondent. He was always witty and humorous.

Edward eventually retired to Bedford in the Eastern Province but met his death in mysterious circumstances at “Clarensville”. He had been looking after his brother Saul’s house and had taken a walk on the beach, where he was later found drowned and lying in the rocks at Sea Point. The only explanation was that he had slipped on the rocks and struck his head before falling into the water.

Jessie Matthews and Edward Solomon had the following children:
Sir Edward Solomon (1845-1914), Sir Richard Stuart Solomon (1850-1913), Sir William Henry Solomon (1852 -1930), Emilie Jane Solomon ( - ).


Third Generation – the children of Henry Solomon & Julia Sophia Middleton.

1. Ellen Hannah Solomon, daughter of Henry Solomon and Julia Sophia Middleton, was born 28 December 1844 in Cape Town and died there on 22 April 1924. She married James Cameron, a Minister of Religion.

2. Mary Solomon, daughter of Henry Solomon and Julia Sophia Middleton, was born in 1847 in Cape Town and died there in 1935. Mary married Dr. John Henry Brown.

Dr. John Henry Brown, son of Rev. John Croumbie Brown (1808-1895), was born in 1841 in Fraserburg, Northern Cape, South Africa.  He was a Doctor of Medicine. Graduated 23 Apr 1863. John died in 1929 and was buried in 1929 in Fraserburg.  Fraserburg is situated on a plateau to the north of the Nuweveld Mountains at a height of 1 260 m above sea level. The nearest Railway station is Leeu Gamka on the N1 between Cape Town and Beaufort West.  

John Brown and Mary Solomon had the following children:
1. Margaret Brown.
2. Rachel [Ray] Brown.
3. Julia Brown (?-1938).

3. Alfred Viner Solomon, son of Henry Solomon and Julia Sophia Middleton, was born circa 1854 probably in Cape Town. He was a Clerk in 1878 in his father's business then an Accountant. Between 1868 and 1871 he attended the South African College, Cape Town.

South African College - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia The South African College was an educational institution in Cape Town, South Africa, which developed into the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the South African College Schools (SACS).

See the "History of South African College" Vol 2 by Prof. W. Ritchie.
"History of the South African College":
The process that would lead to the formation of the South African College was started in 1791, when the Dutch Commissioner-General, Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist, asked for money to be set aside to improve the schools in the Cape. When the British took over the control of the Cape Colony, under the first governor, Lord Charles Henry Somerset, permission was given for the money set aside by de Mist to be used to establish the South African College. The founding committee met in the Groote Kerk to discuss funding and accommodation for the school and on October 1,1829, the inauguration of the South African College was held and the classes began. The original location of the school was in the Weeshuis on Long Street and moved to what is now known as the Egyptian Building (on the Hiddingh Campus of UCT) in the Gardens district of Cape Town in 1841. It was decided in 1874 that the younger students should be separated from their older counterparts. The South African College was separated into the College, which became the University of Cape Town; and the College Schools.

Alfred died on 8 January 1910 in Cape Town, South Africa. He married Minnie Pilkington.

Minnie Pilkington and Alfred Viner Solomon had the following children:
1. Alec Viner Pilkington Solomon (1879-1942).
2. Alfred Woodford Solomon, born 30 January 1880.
3. Nellie Maud Solomon, born 26 July 1881.
4. Minnie Winifred Solomon, born 8 January 1884 – 1938.
5. Frank Middleton Solomon, born 1890.

4. Henry Solomon, son of Henry Solomon and Julia Sophia Middleton, was a Clerk in his father's business. Henry appeared in the 1878 Voters list for Western Cape giving his residence as 49 and 50 St. George's St., Cape Town and is listed as a salaried Clerk.
5. Annie Solomon.
6. Arthur Solomon.
7. Charles Solomon.
8. Eliza Solomon.
9. Harry Solomon.
10.Isabel Solomon.
11.Jane Solomon.
12.Julia Solomon.


Third Generation – the children of Saul Solomon & Georgiana Margaret Thomson.

1. Saul Solomon, son of Saul Solomon and Georgiana Margaret Thomson, was born in 1875 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Biographical Extract taken from
“Admitted to the Bar he practiced in Cape Town and Johannesburg for six years before changing course and becoming a minister of the Church of England in a slum parish of London. Unsettled, distressed and dissatisfied with this experience and with Anglicanism he left the church, converted to the Roman Catholic church, and returned to his practice at the Bar in Johannesburg in 1916. He was a brilliant and thorough advocate specialising in statute and corporate law and his elevation to the Transvaal Bench in 1928 was universally approved of. However, Saul did not make the mark on the Bench that he had done at the Bar. Perhaps he missed the excitement of a good fight, but he found most of his duties as a judge rather too mundane. There were several stories told about him. One referred to his habit of nodding his head in following an argument, a mannerism which was mistaken by some to be indicating assent. In one case Counsel for a Jewish businessman accused of fraud was extolling the virtuous and blameless life of his client and Solomon had been nodding throughout. Two friends of the accused were greatly impressed by the Judge’s acceptance of the qualities of their friend and by his sympathetic attitude. “Vot a Judge!” said one to the other. In due course Solomon gave his judgement. He gave the accused a verbal lambasting, describing him as a rogue and a thief and one who deserved to be severely punished. Finally he sentenced him to ten years imprisonment. “Vot a poker player!” said the other friend. In another case Saul Solomon sentenced a farmer from the Bethal area named Nafte to death for the beating and murder of a native employee. The sentence caused a furore as at that time the sentence of death upon a white man for killing a black was unusual. Such was the outcry that administrative action was taken to commute the death sentence to a sentence of life imprisonment. Fair minded people, then and now, regarded Solomon’s sentence as appropriate in the circumstances and he strongly resented the overturning action taken. In retirement Saul lived in his house at St James in Cape Town lovingly cared for by his sister Daisy”.

2. William Ewart Gladstone Solomon, (always referred to as Gladstone) son of Saul Solomon and Georgiana Margaret Thomson, was born in 1880 in Cape Town, S. Africa and died in 1965. He became a famous visual artist and writer in South Africa. Gladstone married Gladys Cowper-Smith in the January to March quarter of 1906 in Tonbridge, Kent, England, but the couple separated after a few years of marriage.

Biographical Extract taken from
“Gladstone went from the Bedford Grammar School to the Royal Academy Schools in London. During his long career his paintings, which were in the classical tradition, were hung in the Royal Academy, the Paris Salon and in many distinguished exhibitions in London. In WWI Gladstone was enlisted with the 8th Welsh Regiment. As a Captain he saw action at Gallipoli, in Mesopotamia and in India. After the war he went to India and was Director of the Government School of Art in Bombay for 15 years, restructuring the curriculum there and studying Indian art. In 1937 he returned to England and lectured widely on Indian Art. In 1939 he moved back to South Africa and lived in Johannesburg. Gladstone’s classical style portraits and his many paintings of nudes were noted for their superb draughtsmanship and exquisite tonal qualities. Not surprisingly, his classical style did not find great favour among the art critics in South Africa who favoured the more modern impressionistic styles of painting. Not for him the wild locks and bohemian looks of the young artist, Gladstone always wore a bow-tie and suit under his painter’s smock. In any event , since he did most of his painting overseas, he was not regarded as a true South African painter. In advancing age his eyesight deteriorated to the detriment of his later paintings.

The 1905 Electoral Rolls for Earls Court, Kensington in London shows that Gladstone was registered as sharing studios in a house at 5 Pembroke Walk, Earls Court. In 1939 he and Daisy are registered as living at 7 Helenslea Avenue, Hendon, London. The 1911 census shows Gladstone, age 31, married, an artist living as a Boarder within the Wolff Household at 44 Belsize Park Gardens, Hampstead, London N.W. It would appear that he and Gladys had separated by this time (five years after they married).

He had earlier married a Gwladys Cowper-Smith in England and had a son, Scott, but it was not a successful marriage and ended early. In his retirement years Gladstone owned a house in Muizenberg near his brother Saul and sister Daisy so could enjoy family life with them at Saul’s St James house until his death at the age of 85.

The 1911 census shows Gwladys had separated from her husband and was working as an Organizing Secretary for the National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage. She was aged 34 (i.e. born 1877) and born in Swansea, Glamorgan. She is listed as "Head" of the house living with her Culverwell cousins”.

Children of Gladstone Solomon and Gwladys Cowper:
1. Scott Gladstone Solomon born in Hampstead on 13 December 1907. The 1911 census shows that Scott, age 3, was living at Consuelo, 15 Wordsworth Walk, Hendon, London N.West.

On the 10th May 1938, Scott changed his name by deed pole to Scott Gladstone Cowper. He died in Birkenhead, Cheshire in the Oct to Dec quarter of 1999 aged 92. Scott became a Medical Practitioner and married Marjorie Grace Boxley in 1947 at Hinckley, Leicestershire. Marjorie was born in 1914. Scott and Marjorie had a daughter Ann Christine Cowper who was born in 1948.

3. Daisy Dorothea Solomon, daughter of Saul Solomon and Georgiana Margaret Thompson, was born in 1882 in Cape Town, South Africa. Daisy spent time in Holloway for the suffragette cause, continuing her mother’s tradition of political and social activism. Daisy never married and died in Cape Town in 1976.


Third Generation – the children of Edward Solomon and Jessie Matthews.

1. Sir Edward Philip Solomon was the son of Edward Solomon and Jessie Matthews was born on 10 August 1845 Philippolis, Free State, South Africa and died in 1914 at Johannesburg, South Africa. The 1861 census for Christchurch in Kent shows Edward age 15, a boarder at the Missionary School there.

Biographical Extract from
“Sir Edward Philip Solomon (1845- 1914) was a successful attorney in the early Witwatersrand. Identifying with the Uitlanders.  He was a member of the Reform Committee sponsoring the Jameson Raid of 1895.

As a consequence of this debacle he was fined and imprisoned by Kruger’s government for a period in Pretoria. Some years later, after the Boer War, Edward joined Smuts and Botha in the Transvaal Het Volk party. After the creation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 Edward was elected to the Senate. He suffered ill health in his last years and died in 1914”.

Military Career:
At the age of 32, from 1877 to 1879 Edward served with the Beaufort Rangers Cavalry Volunteers, South Africa as a 1st Lieutenant.

Sir Edward Solomon died on 20 November 1914 at Johannesburg - his address at the time was given as Rossleigh Park Town, Johannesburg.

Probate of Wills in London shows the following:
Solomon, Sir Edward Philip of Rossleigh Park Town, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa, knight, died 20 November 1914. Administration (with Will limited) London 1 April to Bertram Lowndes, assistant Bank Manager Attorney of Hug Ross Solomon. Effects £43. 15 shillings in London.

2. Sir Richard Stuart Solomon, son of Edward Solomon and Jessie Matthews, was a Barrister and Politician. He was born on 18 October 1850 in Cape Town and died on 10 November 1913 at 42 Hyde Park Square, London, England. Richard was educated at South African College & Peterhouse Cambridge before being called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1879. He was knighted K.C.M.G. in 1901 at the age of 50 and became the High Commissioner for South Africa.

Biographical Extract from
“He was Attorney General for the Cape in 1898, and later legal advisor to Lord Kitchener during the Boer War. One wonders what advice Solomon gave Kitchener on the legality (not to say the morality) of the harsh and mismanaged concentration camp policy that Kitchener imposed on Boer families after 1900. No-one knows how many Boer women, children and old men died in these neglected and unsanitary camps (Thomas Packenham in his history says that estimates vary from 18,000 to 28,000) but the number far exceeded the 7,000 odd Boer men killed in the field in the entire war. We must assume Solomon went along with the concentration camp policy. Afrikaner bitterness against the British over this matter lasted for generations.

Sir Richard Solomon sat alongside General Kitchener and Sir Alfred Milner at the Vereeniging peace negotiations with the Boer leaders which ended the war in 1902. He was one of a committee of four (the others being Milner, Hertzog and Smuts) appointed to draft the detailed terms of the peace settlement. The peace terms the British offered the defeated Boers were surprisingly generous, although not to the black Africans who continued to be excluded from the franchise.

After the war Richard Solomon became the Attorney General of the now British Transvaal. He was credited by Alfred Milner with reorganising the Statute Law of the Transvaal and bringing it into line with British conventions elsewhere. In the years that followed he, like his brother, joined the Transvaal Het Volk party of the former Boer generals Jan Smuts and Louis Botha and aspired to lead the party and to be Premier of the Transvaal. His political skills and instincts, however, were not held in high regard by either Smuts or Botha. In the event he lost his seat to Sir Percy Fitzpatrick (author of Jock of the Bushveld) and Botha became Premier of the Transvaal instead.

In retrospect, all agree that Solomon, although a brilliant lawyer and administrator, was a poor politician, not at all of the same calibre as Botha and could never have carried the Transvaal with him in the creation of the Union in 1910 as Botha did. Sir Richard Solomon ended his career as the Union of South Africa’s first High Commissioner in London, a position to which his abilities were well suited”.

In 1881 (possibly in South Africa) Sir Richard married Mary Elizabeth Mary Walton, daughter of John Walton (a Wesleyan Minister) and Emma.

The 1911 census shows: Living at 42 Hyde Park Square Sir Richard, age 60, b. Cape Town, High Commissioner for South Africa, Elizabeth (his wife) age 48 b. Nottingham, England, their grandson Richard Desire Girouard age 5 b. Westminster, 6 Servants and a Nurse.

Richard Stuart Solomon died on 10 November 1913 in London. Wills & Probate records show: Solomon, Sir Richard of Grahamstown, Cape Colony and of 42 Hyde Park Square, Middlesex G.C.M.G., K.C.B., K.C.V.O. died 10 November at 42 Hyde Park Square, London. Probate 24 January to Elizabeth Mary Solomon widow.    Effects £6093 15s. 6d. (value today is £547,606 and 84 pence).

Lady Elizabeth (Mary) Solomon died aged 78, on 12 January 1942 at The Cottage Hospital, West Molesey Surrey.  Wills & Probate in shows: Solomon Lady Elizabeth Mary of Hampton Court Palace, Middlesex, widow, died 12 January 1942 at the Cottage Hospital, West Molesey, Surrey. Probate Llandudno 30 April to Richard Desire Girouard, Captain H.M. Army and Philip Leycester Hardman, Solicitor. Effect £5765 8s. 9d. (value today is 228,582 and 25 pence).

Sir Richard and Mary Solomon had one child:
Mary Gwendolin Solomon, born Pretoria. Mary was married twice - first to Col. Sir Edward Percy Cranwill Girouard K.C.M.G., D.S.O on 10 Sepember 1903 in South Africa, and bore him a son Richard Desiré Girouard in 1905 at Westminster, London. The couple divorced on grounds of Sir Edward's adultery. Lady Mary Gwendolin (as she was now known) then married Major Robert William Oppenheim on 13 April 1915 in Egypt. She gave birth to a child, but Mary died on 16 May from birth complications.

Wills & Probate for Mary show: Oppenheim, Mary Gwendolin of 27 Lower Seymour Street, Middlesex (wife of Robert William Oppenheim) died 16 May at Budleigh Salterton, Devonshire. Administration London 31 May to the said Robert William Oppenheim Captain H.M. Army. Effects £351 19s. 6d. (valued today at £28,476 and 80 pence).

3. Sir William Henry Solomon, son of Edward Solomon and Jessie MAatthews, was a Judge. He was born in 1852 Bedford, Cape Province and died in June 1930 in Denbighshire, Wales.

Biographical Extract from
“At the age of 35 he became a Judge in the High Court of Griqualand West. Like most of the Solomon's he was a small man, and he was affectionately referred to by his colleagues as “Baby”, and in later life he was called “the little Judge”. After some ten years in Griqualand West he was transferred to the Supreme Court of the Transvaal and in 1910 was appointed to the first Appeal Court of the Union of South Africa. In 1928 he became Chief Justice of South Africa and was also elected to the Privy Council in the UK to culminate an outstanding career. William Solomon retired from the Bench in 1930 after a phenomenal forty-three years as a judge. According to Allan Solomon, he is ranked with Rose-Innes, Wessels and J.G.Kotze as one of South Africa’s greatest judges.

However, the question must be asked why Solomon (and his fellow judges) did not rule against the introduction of The Natives Land Act of 1913. This was the Union’s first major segregationist piece of legislation and pre-dated formal apartheid by some thirty five years and must have been controversial at the time. The Act divided up South Africa on a racial, and not very fair basis, creating reserves for blacks and prohibiting the sale of white territory to blacks and vice versa. It was a hugely significant piece of legislation. It underpinned the racial divide in the country for years and more or less inspired the fully fledged Apartheid Group Areas Act of 1950. The allegation today is that the South African judiciary was too compliant in accepting the sovereignty of parliamentary legislation without fully testing the constitutionality and natural justice of important laws such as this. The Supreme Court did in fact rule that the Natives Land Act was invalid in the Cape Province, but only in the Cape Province. But this was only because, unlike the other provinces, the Cape had a property-based qualified franchise which pre-dated the Union and which the Union of South Africa’s constitution had recognised. There was no problem in the other provinces.

In Solomon’s defence one could perhaps say that few of the other Commonwealth judiciaries of those times around the world would have challenged their country’s parliamentary laws. It was then generally accepted that parliaments made the laws and the courts applied them. I suspect that the judiciaries in most Western countries today would adopt a more interventionist stance, especially on social legislation of so critical a nature”.

From Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900
Name: William Henry Solomon.  Born: 1852.  Died: 13 June 1930. College: Peterhouse entered 1872.
More Information: Adm. pens. at PETERHOUSE, Oct. 11, 1872. [4th] s. of the Rev. Edward, of Bedford, Cape Colony (and Jessie, dau. of Peter Matthews, of Aberdeen). B. 1852. Schools, Bedford, Cape Colony, and S. African College, Cape Town. Matric. Michs. 1872; Scholar, 1873; B.A. 1876; M.A. 1880. Hon. Fellow, 1915. Adm. at the Inner Temple, Apr. 19, 1873. Called to the Bar, Nov. 17, 1877. Practised before the High Court of Griqualand West and the Supreme Court of Cape Colony. Assistant Legal Adviser to the Government, 1883-7. Puisne Judge, High Court of Griqualand, 1887-1902; Eastern districts Court of Cape Colony and of the Transvaal Colony, 1902-10. Judge of Appellate division, Supreme Court of S. Africa, 1910-27. Chief Justice of the Union of S. Africa, 1927-1929. Acting Governor of S. Africa, 1928. Member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 1928. Knighted, 1907; K.C.M.G.,1913; K.C.G.I., 1914. Died June 13, 1930, at Ruthin, Denbighs. Brother of the above. (Inns of Court; Foster, Men at the Bar; Walford, County Families; Who was Who; The Times, June 16, 1930; Cambridge Review, Oct. 18, 1930; T. A. Walker, 541.)

Sir William Henry Solomon was invested as Knight Commander, Order of St. Michael and St. George (K.C.M.G.) He graduated with a Master of Arts (M.A.) He was invested as a Knight Commander, order of the Star of India (K.C.S.I.) He held the office of Chief Justice of South Africa. He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.).

William Solomon married Maud Elizabeth Christian on the 31 March 1891 at Port Elizabeth. Maud was the daughter of Henry Bailey Christian and Mary Anne Smith.

William Solomon’s wife Maud (nee Christian) died 9 September 1920 possibly in South Africa, and when he retired he went, a very lonely man, to England. William and Maud died without having any children (as per  William died at Ruthin Castle in Wales on 13 June 1930.

Wills & Probate in London show the following:  Solomon K.C.M.G., the right honourable Sir William Henry of Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa died 13 July 1930 at Ruthin Castle, Denbighshire. Administration (with Will) (limited) London 5 December to Ralph Gibson assistant Bank Manager Attorney of Emilie Jane Solomon, spinster.  Effects £1227 8s. 4d. in England.

From “The Times”, Tuesday, 17 June 1930, Page 19, Issue 45541, Col B Category: Deaths Funeral and Memorial Services Sir William Solomon:
The funeral of Sir William Solomon, late Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa, took place at Brookwood Cemetery yesterday afternoon. The service was conducted by Archbishop Carter, late Archbishop of Cape Town. Those present included: Miss Emily Solomon, Lady Solomon, Mr. and Mrs. Webber, Mr. and Lady Blanche Girouard, Miss Daisy Solomon, Mrs.Philip Christian, Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Pat Grant, Miss Walton, Mr. and Mrs. Friedlander, Mr. Bernheim, Sir Lionel and Lady Phillips, Sir Francis Newton, Mrs. Bailie Hamilton, Colonel and Mrs. Fuge, and Mrs Carter. The Earl of Athlone and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, sent a wreath, and others were received from the Government and people of the Union of South Africa, the members of the Appeal Court of the Union of South Africa, and the Mayor and Council of the City of Cape Town.

4. Emilie Jane Solomon was a Spinster in 1930 (as per Wills & Probate of her brother William). 


Fourth Generation – the children of Alfred Viner Solomon and Minnie Pilkington.

1. Alec Viner Pilkington Solomon, son of Alfred Viner Solomon and Minnie Pilkington, was born on 27 January 1879 in Sea Point, Cape Province and died in 1942 in Cape Town, South Africa. He was an Accountant and Auditor. He married Blanche Louise Rosamund Buyskes in 1908 in Cape Town.

Blanche Louise Rosamund Buyskes was born circa 1887 in South Africa and died on 15 June 1973 in Cape Town, South Africa aged 86.

Blanche Louise Rosamund Buyskes and Alec Viner Pilkington Solomon had the following children:
1. Margaret Minnie Solomon (1908-2008). Margaret was born in October 1908 in South Africa. She died in March 2008 in Cape Town.

2. Joan Solomon was born "abt 1910" in South Africa. She married Dennis Watson. Joan and Dennis had two children.

3. Avis Solomon was born in South Africa. She married Neville ?Alan Whiley. She died in Cape Town. Avis had two children.

4. Alec Woodford Solomon (1920?-1985). Alec was born in January 1920 (approx.) in South Africa. He was a Lieutenant, S.A. Navy (WW2) & Accountant/Finance Administrator - SA Govt. in Cape Town. He was Church of England.  Alec married Christine Maxwell Delaney on 8 January 1946 in All Saints Church, Plumstead, Cape Town, South Africa. 

Christine (Chris) was born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire Scotland in 1922. She was the daughter of Cornelius Maxwell Delaney and Annie Cruickshanks. Chris died at the home of her daughter in Stellenbosch on 2 January 2013.

Alex died on 11 October 1985 in Fishoek, Cape Prov. South Africa and was cremated  at Cremation, Fishoek, Cape Prov. South Africa.

Alec and Chris had 3 daughters, of all whom married and had children of their own.

5. Shirley Solomon was born in Cape Town. She married Clive [Bunny] Simpson and had two children.  She was an identical twin to Beth (below).

6. Beth Solomon (identical twin to Shirley - above). Beth was born in Cape Town. She married Harry Wood and had two children. She died circa 2005 in Cape Town.


Fourth Generation – the children of Alfred Viner Solomon & Minnie Pilkington.

1. Alec Viner Solomon, son of Alfred Viner and Minnie Pilkington was born 1879 and died 1942.

2. Alfred Woodford Solomon, son of Alfred Viner Solomon and Minnie Pilkington was born 1880.

3. Nellie Maud Solomon, daughter of Alfred Viner Solomon and Minnie Pilkington was born 1881.

4. Minnie Solomon, daughter of Alfred Viner & Minnie Pilkington was born 1884 and died 1938.

5. Frank Middleton Solomon, son of Alfred Viner Solomon and Minnie Pilkington, was born on 4 August 1890. He was christened on 13 November 1890 in St. Johns Anglican Church, Wynberg. It is possible that Frank was a Building Developer as he bought a piece of land in 1946 in Main Road Diep River under the company name of Frank Solomon and Co. (Pty) Ltd. Little else is known about Frank at this time.


Fourth Generation – the children of Mary Solomon and John Henry Brown.

1. Margaret Brown, daughter of Dr. John Henry Brown and Mary Solomon, married twice, first to Stanley F. Smith. and then L. Marriott-Earle.

2. Rachel [Ray] Brown, daughter of Dr. John Henry Brown and Mary Solomon, married James Dick and had a daughter Mollie Graham Dick.

3. Julia Brown, daughter of Dr. John Henry Brown and Mary Solomon, died in 1938. She married Pieter Hugo Naude.


You may be wondering why my interest in the Solomon family.  I suggest you take a look at my "Doris Moss, Napoleon and St Helena" blog.  The Moss and Solomon families were related by marriage and were in business together and the time of Napoleon's exile on St Helena.

If you wish to contact the author of the Solomon/Moss Family Archives blogs with comments or further information, please email Joy Olney at -

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