This portrait of the wealthy diamond merchant Baron Lyon de Symons was once owned by Mrs H B Lewis-Barned. Before marriage she was Emily Eliza Lyon de Symons, a grand-daughter of Baron Lyon de Symons via his youngest son Aaron. The painting is now owned by her great-grandson who has been in contact with us. We first saw this portrait as a black and white image from ref 147. Some details of the Lewis-Barned family can be found here.   The Pressburg Cup of silver-gilt made in Nuremburg about 1600 with the mark Hans Petzolt. It is engraved around the lip with a Hebrew inscription which records its ownership by the Burial Society of the Jewish community of Pressburg (modern Bratislava) in 1739-40. It is among the earliest silver cups used for this purpose, and is a rare piece of Judaica. Photographed by Julian Land at the British Museum 9 Jul 2015 in the exhibition of the Waddesdon Bequest of Baron Ferdinand Rothschild MP 1839–1898. It nicely symbolizes the milieu in which Baron Lyon de Symons was born.   Portrait of Fanny Emma Nunes 1818-71 who was a grand-daughter of Baron Lyon de Symons via his daughter Henrietta de Symons 1785-1870. The image (and the one to the right) was provided by the owner - a descendant of Emma - via Claire Myers who shares a common Lindo ancestor with Emma. Emma was also a de Symons cousin of Sir Barrow Helbert Ellis after whom the much-decorated Barrow Helbert Ellis Lousada was named.

  Portrait of Sidney James Phillips 1817-1902 who was married to Fanny Emma Nunes (see left) and after she died in 1871 he married the hitherto unmarried Fanny Esther Barrow 1821-1911 the 4th daughter of Tryphena Esther Lyon de Symons and Simon Barrow of Bath. He therefore had the distinction of marrying 2 grand-daughters of Baron Lyon de Symons!

 Baron Lyon de Symons aka Judah Low Pressburg was a leader of London's Ashkenasi Great Synagogue, which he served as Treasurer in 1790. Edgar Samuel advises that the name Lyon or Loew or Leb is an equivalent for the Hebrew name, Judah, on the basis of Jacob's blessing at the end of Genesis, where he compares his son Judah with a lion. He was born in Bratislava, the German name for which is Pressburg and the Hungarian name for which is Poesing. It lies quite close to Vienna and Prague and was the capital of Hungary in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He appears on a list of possible contacts for Mozart's visit to London in 1764 (Susser Archive ref 122). His lifespan is given in ref 147 as 1743-1814.

He was married to Polly Goldsmid and was father-in-law of Simon Barrow of Bath (see note 1 below). His father was Samuel Michael Lazar Pressburg (see note 2 below). Samuel was an affluent Austrian banker and Government agent in Vienna and perhaps this helps explain the connection by which Simon Barrow of Bath became a special diplomatic envoy between the Prince Regent and the Austrian Court.



1. The marriage of Simon Barrow of Bath to Tryphena Esther Lyon de Symons is recorded as #1451 in Bevis Marks Records 2 and this record shows Baron Lyon de Symons as 'Judah bar Simon alias de Symons'. This of course leads us to wonder whether the ancestry of father-in-law and son-in-law is connected for there are clues (other than the obvious one) to this effect. But this marriage record raises a question on who the Baron's father was - see note 2 below for a resolution of this.

2. Some of the ancestry of Baron Lyon de Symons can be found on the Schoenberg family tree (see ref 148) and this like other sources takes Samuel Pressburg to be his father, in contradiction to note 1 above. We resolve the contradiction by observing notes 3, 4 and 5 clearly show Samuel as the father whilst observing that note 6 casts a doubt over the sole contradictory evidence in note 1.

3. Wolf Liepmann was founder of the Westminster Synagogue, and it was in his wake (according to ref 147 p199) that his 2 'nephews', one of whom was Baron Lyon de Symons, came to London. As the wife of Samuel Pressburg is generally given the name Fradchen Liebmann and sometimes Fratia Liepmann, it seems safe to conclude Wolf Liepmann was a brother-in-law of Samuel Pressburg who was thus father of the 'nephews'.

4. The 2 known sons of Baron Lyon de Symons were Samuel #120 (who married the widowed sister of Simon Barrow) and Aaron #564. As Aaron appears to have been named after the maternal grandfather Aaron Goldsmid, it follows that Samuel was the name of the paternal grandfather.

5. Ref 188 lists at #231 as a member of the Great Synagogue in 1781-2 R. Leib b. Samuel Pressburg de Symons, of Vienna. This is essentially the identical name R. Leib Pressburg given to Baron Lyon de Symons by ref 147 whose author Cecil Roth is the author of ref 188. Ref 189 lists the last 3 children of Baron Lyon de Symons ie Matilda, Frances and Aaron under the father Mr. Leib son of Shmuel Pressburg de Symons of Vienna citing ref 188 but replacing the initial 'R' by 'Mr'!

6. BMR Records 2 notes in its Introduction that for between 30 Nisan 5555 and 8 Elul 5571 no Ketubot was available (the relevant volume having disappeared) and the information for this period was elsewhere derived. Thus the data for #1451 (see note 1 above) was derived from the Mahamad's Record of Licences and not the Ketubot. We suggest that in the additional transcription an error occurred - one possibility is that Judah bar Samuel was read as Judah bar Simon, and another is that Judah bar Samuel bar Simon was originally written and the middle name was inadvertently omitted in the transcription. Note 5 supports the second alternative for it shows all 3 names. Furthermore, we considered whether a Simon could have been the father of the Baron who was born in 1743 (or thereabouts - for dates other than 1743 can be found). Simon Michael Pressburg could not have been the father since he died in 1719. But he may have had a grandson also named Simon. However under Ashkenasi naming rules (ref 35 p20) the grandson Simon must have been born after the grandfather died hence after 1719 which means he would have fathered the Baron in his early 20s which seems unlikely.