1 Ricardo’s Sepharad

DOI: 10.4324/9781003162100-1

‘Ricardo’s father and family were of the Jewish persuasion; blameless according to the Decalogue, and uncommonly strict in all the peculiarities of the Mosaic ritual. In the same faith he was himself initiated’ (Sunday Times 1823). This chapter attempts to reconstruct the first 21 years of Ricardo’s life when he was first a child in a London Sephardi household and then, from the age of 13, a member of the Bevis Marks congregation. Primary sources are scarce, primarily because Ricardo’s family did not like the idea ‘that the public should be reminded of their Jewish and mercantile origin’ (Mallet 1821–1822, 24 June 1830), but the chapter tries to add something to what is available on Ricardo’s ...

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