Select Solomon Miscellany

Here are some Solomon stories and accounts over the years:

The Wisdom of Solomon

Solomon succeeded David as the King of Israel.  The Hebrew Bible credits Solomon as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem and portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power. 

In one account, known as the Judgment of Solomon, two women came before Solomon to resolve a quarrel over which was the true mother of a baby.  When Solomon suggested they should divide the living child in two with a sword, one woman said she would rather give up the child than see it killed. Solomon then declared the woman who showed compassion to be the true mother, and gave the baby to he

Bert Solomon the Rugby Player

Bert Solomon was born at Treleigh in west Cornwall in 1885, one of several children born into a poor but close-knit mining family.  He left school at 12 and found an unskilled job in a local bacon factory.  During his teenage years he was introduced into the world of racing pigeons by his father.  Pigeon-fancying became his prime interest.  But he was somehow persuaded to join the local rugby club and try his hand. 

Soon his exceptional rugby talent emerged for all to witness and by the time he had reached 21 he had become a seasoned county player.  His skills were extraordinary.  He was said to have invented and perfected the dummy.  In the 1908 county championship final against Durham he almost single-handedly won the game for Cornwall. 

He was capped by England against Wales in 1910 but declined further international caps.  He also declined a hefty fee to play Rugby League in the north of England. 

He was a solitary character who liked nothing better than his pigeons.  Sometimes he refused to play for his team Redruth if his pigeons were still out; and he often had to be cajoled into playing.  Such was his skill that he apparently made a difference of a thousand in the crowd.

Simeon Solomon the Painter

Simeon Solomon was the eighth and last child born to merchant Michael Solomon and his artist wife Catherine.  As a student at the Royal Academy, Simeon was introduced to members of the Pre-Raphaelite painting school, as well as to the poet Swinburne.   His first exhibition was at the Royal Academy in 1858. He continued to hold exhibitions of his work at the Royal Academy between 1858 and 1872.  His association with Swinburne led to his illustrating Swinburne's Lesbia Brandon in 1865. 

However, his budding career was cut short in 1873 when he was arrested in a public toilet in London and charged with an attempt to commit sodomy.  He was a marked man and further arrests followed.  In 1884 he was committed to the workhouse where his life and talent was blighted by alcoholism.  Twenty years later, he died from complications brought on by this alcoholism

Solomon's Island

Originally known as Bourneís and Somervellís Island, Solomonís Island in Maryland took its name from a 19th century Baltimore oyster packer named Isaac Solomon who established a cannery there shortly after the  Civil War. 

It was he who gave the island its new name, advertising his canning establishment as "Solomons Island."  Solomon operated a fleet of schooners which plied between there and the mainland.  In 1870 the community received official recognition when the United States Postal Service opened an office. 

Solomon's home still stands on the front of the island.

The Narrative of Lewis Solomon

Lewis Solomonís narrative began as follows: 

ďMy name is Lewis Solomon - spelled L-e-w-i-s, though they call me Louie.  I was born on Drummond Island in 1821, moved to St. Joseph Island in 1825, back to Drummond Island again, and then to Penetanguishene in 1829.  

My fatherís name was William Solomon, Government interpreter.  His father, Ezekiel Solomon, was born in the city of Berlin in Germany, came to Montreal and went up to the ďSault.Ē  My father was appointed Indian interpreter by the British Government and was at Mackinaw during the War of 1812, then moved to Drummond Island with the British forces, and afterwards to Penetanguishene."

Nathaniel, Phoebe, and Saul Solomon

In the early 1790ís a ship bound for India dropped anchor off the Port of Jamestown on the island. A young man was carried ashore to die. The ship sailed on and the young man, Saul Solomon, remained not to die but to become one of the most influential men on the island.  Within a few years Saul was joined in St Helena by his brothers, Benjamin, Edward, and Charles. 

Saul had come from a respected Anglo-Jewish mercantile family who had lived in Kent for many generations. They had substantial interests, not only in England, but also on the Continent.

In 1760 or thereabouts his father Nathaniel visited Leyden in Holland where he met, fell in love with, and married a young Dutch girl named Phoebe de Mitz.  She was just fourteen years old at the time.  Yet Phoebe returned with him as a bride to England and, by the time she was forty, had produced eighteen children.

After Nathanielís death Phoebe moved to London where she lived on in some style until her death in 1834.

Saul and Georgiana Solomon

In Cape Town in 1873, Georgiana Thomson, a recent arrival from Scotland, met Saul Solomon, the proprietor of the Cape Argus, a member of the legislative assembly for Cape Town, and a noted liberal and philanthropist.

They found themselves in close accord, both intellectually and emotionally, and, despite a considerable difference in age (she being twenty-nine and he fifty-six), they were married at his home at Clarensville on Sea Point the next year.   The marriage turned out to be a happy one, producing four sons and two daughters.  

Through her marriage into the extended Solomon family, Georgiana became a member of a circle of educated, enlightened, and politically active women at the Cape.   She would speak at temperance meetings and was elected president of the World's Temperance Union at the Cape.  Sharing her husband's commitment to moral reform, she became first president of the Social Purity Alliance in Cape Town and campaigned successfully against an attempt to reintroduce the Contagious Diseases Acts.

In 1888, following a breakdown in Saul Solomon's health (in which the drowning of their elder daughter in 1881 had been a contributory factor), the family left for England.  Four years later, Saul Solomon died, leaving her alone to bring up the children in England.   She continued to watch political developments in South Africa closely and lived onto 1933.

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