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Montefiore, [India and Australia]

XI/38/7, 1 box

The Montefiores were a family of Sephardi Jews who were European diplomats and bankers. The family originated from Morocco and Italy. Moses Vita-Haim Montefiore (1712-1789) emigrated from Livorno to London in the 1740s. The families of two of his sons, Joseph Elias Montefiore (1759-1804) and Eliezor Jacob Montefiore (1761-1837) were to have close business and personal ties with the Rothschild family.

Joseph Elias Montefiore married Rachel Mocatta (1762-1841), the daughter of Abraham Mocatta, a powerful bullion broker in London. Their son, Sir Moses Haim Montefiore, (1784–1885), became a financier, activist, and philanthropist. The Montefiore firm acted as stockbrokers for Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836), and in 1824, Moses Montefiore and Nathan Mayer Rothschild established the Alliance Assurance Company in temporary offices in Moses Montefiore’s home in St Swithin’s Lane.  The sons of Eliezor Jacob Montefiore, Jacob 'Barrow' Montefore (1801-1895) and Joseph 'Barrow' Montefiore (1803-1893) acted as agents for the Rothschilds in Australia, although the relationship ended in 1855. 

This small series contains correspondence from various members of the Montefiore family, mostly from Australia, concerning Australian business. The earliest letters received are dated 1818. The series includes a file of letters from Montefiore, Kelsall Carmichael of Calcutta, (1834-1837). The series includes a file of letters from Montefiore, Furtado & Co. of Adelaide and Hobart Town (1832-1839).

The largest element are letters from 'J.B. Montefiore' of Melbourne covering the period 1840-1852.  In the early 1850s, Joseph 'Barrow' Montefiore and his brother Jacob 'Barrow' Montefiore compiled detailed reports of the discovery of gold in Ballarat and charted the development of the community following this event. In 1852, Jacob 'Barrow' Montefiore sent a Report on Trade in New South Wales, (the 'Victoria Report') to N M Rothschild & Sons reporting on opportunities in Victoria, Australia; the report can be found in XI/38/7/5. Two further files contain letters from Jacob Montefiore & Co., Melbourne and Geelong (1853-1854). 

[Note: there is evidence that the original order of the letters has been disturbed, and that some items may have been added from other series in the Archive].


List of available records

1818-1867 Letters Received: Montefiore Family: Sundry letters XI/38/7/1
1832-1853 Letters Received: Montefiore, Furtado & Co.: Adelaide and Hobart Town,1832-1839 and Letters Received: J.B. Montefiore & Co.: Melbourne, 1840-1853 XI/38/7/3
1834-1837 Letters Received: Montefiore, Kelsall, Carmichael & Co.: Calcutta and Liverpoool XI/38/7/2
1851-1852 Letters Received: J.B. Montefiore & Co.: Melbourne XI/38/7/4
1852 Letters Received: Montefiore, Report on Trade in Victoria 'The Victoria Report', New South Wales XI/38/7/5
1852-1853 Letters Received: Miscellaneous Australian agents and Australian banks XI/38/7/8
1853 Letters Received: Jacob Montefiore & Co.: Melbourne and Geelong XI/38/7/6
1854 Letters Received: Jacob Montefiore & Co.: Melbourne XI/38/7/7