Sir David Amess MP had Jewish heritage says genealogist

The MP, who once said he'd have been proud to be born Jewish, was a descendant of Sephardi families


LEIGH-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: A photograph of Sir David Amess is displayed during a vigil held at Saint Peter's Catholic Church, following the stabbing of UK Conservative MP Sir David Amess as he met with constituents at a constituency surgery on October 15, 2021 in Leigh-on-Sea, England. Sir David Amess, 69, Conservative MP for Southend West, has died from his injuries after being stabbed multiple times at his constituency surgery taking place in Belfair Methodist Church. A man was arrested at the scene. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Sir David Amess MP is believed to have had Sephardi ancestry, the JC can report. 

According to information from the The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, the MP was a descendant of Sephardic families through his mother, Maud, who died in 2016, aged 104.

While Sir David was a staunch and practising catholic, who often referenced his faith in his work in parliament, he had ties to Sephardic Jews going back hundreds of years. 

Accorging to Doreen Berger from The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain:  "Maud, a dressmaker, was the daughter of a Catholic mother and of David Joseph Martin, a descendant of the Spanish Nunez Martines family, who married in London in 1736.  Maud's paternal great grandmother was Frances Gomes da Costa, a descendant of  Abraham and Abigail Gomes da Costa, who had arrived from Portugal as New Christians. 

Their re-marriage in 1728 in London was under the auspices of Bevis Marks after Abraham and his sons underwent the obligatory rite of circumcision.  Abraham settled in Houndsditch, where his sons made a living as tallow chandlers.

It is, therefore, not surprising that Sir David was Honorary Secretary of the Conservative Friends of Israel and campaigned for the erection of the statue of Raoul Wallenberg, who saved lives in Nazi-occupied Hungary.  It is some recompense to know that Sir David was aware of his Jewish roots.

We wish his family "long life".

Sir David was tragically killed last week at a constituency meeting in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. 

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Education Trust, said: “We are shocked and saddened at the tragic loss of Sir David Amess MP. 

“A long time supporter and campaigner for the Holocaust Educational Trust, joining us at every gathering, and encouraging us in everything we did. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Sir David previously served as the honorary secretary of Conservative Friends of Israel.

Earlier this year, speaking at the Holocaust Memorial Day debate, Sir David said although he was a Catholic, “there is Jewish blood in each and every one of us,” and he “would certainly have been proud to have been born a Jew.”


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