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Chief Rabbi visits East End cemetery that dodged Compulsory Purchase

20:45 24 May 2011

Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

United Synagogue

The Chief Rabbi arrived in London’s East End today (Tues) to mark the 250th anniversary of one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the UK.

Lord Jonathan Sacks led a short service at Whitechapel’s Brady Street Cemetery, first opened in 1761, that survived a compulsory purchase order by the local authority which wanted the land for housing in the 1980s.

He was shown round the historic grounds by Jewish East End tour guide Rachel Kolsky, where Nathan de Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild Bank, was interred in 1836.

But it was the passing of one of Rothschild’s descendants 154 years on which stopped Tower Hamlets council’s plan to exhume all the remains and redevelop the land.

Brady Street Cemetery had closed in 1857. The law states that bodies can be moved and the land put to other use if it has not had a burial in 100 years.

But one more burial was carried out at Brady Street in 1990, when Nathaniel Rothschild died at the age of 80, the third Baron Rothschild who was laid to rest next to his famous ancestor.

Brady Street Cemetery is now secure until 2090.

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