Ottolangui UK Uncategorized

Appeal on behalf of our Family Synagogue

This is an appeal for action not for donations

A planning enquiry into a building next to Bevis Marks synagogue ends on 15 December. The plan is to build a high rise building next door. This will block out the light and may damage the historic building’s shallow foundations. If you have a connection to the building or community, please make your objection. Bevis is the longest continually functioning synagogue in the world (even during COVID the rabbi says daily prayers there), the oldest non-Christian and ethnic minority place of worship in the country, and the ‘cathedral’ synagogue of Anglo-Jewry. It is one of the last synagogues following the Portuguese rite. There are a lot of places where an anonymous office block can be built. Anyway, post-COVID there may be more remote working and a fall in demand for office space there, whereas the new Bevis visitor centre will bring ordinary people into the City. Please add your protest to the planning committe………/application…

Watch Rabbi Shalom Morris speak about the classic windows and ancient lights of the synagogue

Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Elizabeth Langley CM

For reasons of privacy and the increasingly more stringent GDP regulations on data protection, I generally try to avoid publishing about living people, but this weekend I received some amazing news which I will share with you and to which am dedicating this page.

Elizabeth Langley a sixth generation descendant of David Ottolenghi, has recently been made a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her lifelong service to the world of dance. Most of her personal and professional life is already in the public domain on various websites, therefore I’m sure that she won’t mind my sharing this.

Elizabeth, known as Betty Marie as a child, was born in 1933 to David Ernest Ottolangui/Langley and Veronica née Smith. David Ernest was the fourth child of Gershon Ottolangui later known as George Henry Langley and Annie Sarah née Harvie. Gershon/George was the youngest son of Aaron Ottolangui and Reyna (née Bensabat). Aaron was the son of Israel Ottolenghi and grandson of David Ottolenghi of Livorno and London. Elizabeth is the younger sister of the late Australian political activist Joan Marie Eisma and niece of the late Aaron “Bert” Ottolangui who  as Trooper Mark Aaron Langley of the 1st Imperial Light Horse was killed in the Second Boer War in 1901 in the Transvaal, South Africa. The stories of Joan and Aaron “Bert” have previously been published on this site. 

Elizabeth, is a performer, choreographer, teacher, dramaturge (literary advisor, editor, arranger in the performing arts) creation & rehearsal director, designer of the BFA Contemporary Dance Degree course in the Contemporary Dance Department at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Elizabeth’s early dance education was at the Studio of Creative Dancing in Melbourne, inspired by her father who told her “If you can turn your passion into your profession, you will be the happiest person in the world.”

From 1960 to 1965 she lived in New York, where she trained in the Martha Graham technique at Graham’s studios on East 63rd Street, and was active in the rapidly developing modern and post-modern American dance scene. She then moved to Ottawa, Ontario where she had a number of jobs: opened a dress boutique, managed the famous Cafe Le Hibou, an Ottowa coffee house precursor to the Canadian National Arts Centre, where performers Josh White Jr., Odetta, James Cotton, and Bruce Cockburn headlined, teaching dance at the Strathmere Farm summer day camp in North Gower, Ontario. She taught a Movement for Actors course at the University of Ottawa in the autumn of 1975.

Among her students was Christopher House, today artistic director of the Toronto Dance Theater (TDT), who said about Elizabeth, “She always has a question that she’s grappling with. This means constantly setting challenges for yourself. There must be the feeling that there is something more. Step back and shake it up!”

In 1979, Elizabeth designed a university dance degree program at Concordia University, geared to training choreographers, as well as technique, became the first chair of the Department of Modern Dance, inaugurated in the 1980/81 academic year. It was renamed the Department of Contemporary Dance in 1987. She describes the development of the program as a key experience. Concentrated study allowed students to create their own choreographic work and teachers did not impose their own technique or develop their students’ work. Among her graduates from the program and achieved renown were Pierre-Paul Savoie – founder of PPS Danse and awarded the Prix de l’action culturelle de la ville de Montréal in 2015, Jeff Hall – dancer and choreographer recipient of the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, a Canada Council for the Arts award for dance professionals, Jacques Brochu – now contemporary dance instructor at Concordia U., Dr. Isabelle Choiniere, a PhD in Dance and Computer Technology studied at the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in Integrative Arts, Plymouth University, Noam Gagnon – Certified Pilates and Franklin Instructor,  Associate Dance artist with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Artisitic Director of Vancouver dance company Vision Impure,  Florence Figols – contmporary dance tutor at Concordia U., publisher of Inscribing Dance: From Embodiement to Digital Media, Thea Patterson – dancer, choreographer and author, Sasha Kleinplatz – Artist in Residence at Concordia U., Andrew Tay – the new artisitic director at TDT and Ireni Stamou who is one of the Artists in Residence at Public Energy Performing Arts in Nogiwanong, Peterborough, Ontario.After studying in Amsterdam, at the School of New Dance Development, Elizabeth became involved with various projects for companies and solo artists in Canada, as assistant director for Maxine Heppner the dance and inter-medial creator, performer and educator known for foundation building and award-winning approaches to performance, studio consultant for Denise Fujiwara the Japanes-Canadian choreographer, dancer and teacher, and dramaturge for the Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre (SZDT) in Toronto. She sees the role of dramaturge as a “mentor, a person who helps a choreographer reach clarity about his or her choreographic expression by responding to the emerging work from the position of an informed ‘first spectator.’ She operates from a neutral position, in which the dramaturge attempts to leave no artistic imprint on the work.

In 1997, she received the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, a Canada Council for the Arts award recognizing a dance professional’s exceptional contribution to the  Canadian world of dance.

At a theatre festival in Turkey, she met the Australian theatre director Paul Rainsford Towner, head of the troupe Chapel of Change. Together they created Elizabeth’s solo one hour multi-media performance, Journal of Peddle Dreams (2003). Inspired by the life and writing of Australian writer Eve Langley (no relation, as far as we know), the production directed by Towner, has been critically acclaimed as  “magnifique”. 

You can see an excerpt of Elizaboths 2003 work “Light Years” on Youtube at

Light Years – Elizabeth Langley

Elizabeth Langley – Light Years

I’m sure that you all join me in congratulating Elizabeth for this landmark recognition.

Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Trooper Aaron Langley 1881-1901

Aaron Ottolangui/Langley was the second child and first son of Gershon Ottolangui, known as George Henry Langley and Annie Harvie.
He was born in 1881 and around 1900 at the age of 19 he travelled to South Africa from where he sent this photograph home

On 7th November 1900 he writes home from Johannesburg saying:
“I have joined the Celebrated Irregular Calvary (sic) – The Imperial Light Horse and have seen a little fighting”. “I can earn 10 shillings a day because the Colonel is going to find all the Regiment a Billet”. “Address 1 Imp, B Squad, Imp Light Horse Depot, Johannesburg”.
…and on 11th November 1900 from an address in “Pothipotrooove, Johannesburg,
 “….. food rations – 1lb dry biscuits, 1lb fresh meat (hard as leather), 1lb tinned boiled beef, 1/2 lb of jam, 10 oz tea every second night, 1 oz coffee every second day, 1 oz salt for a week”.
The letters were signed “B. Langley”

The Imperial Light Horse was a regiment was raised by the British in Johannesburg on 21st September 1899. Its initial strength was 444 officers and men. The regiment was engaged throughout much of the war and fought its first battle at Elandslaagte on 21st October 1899, and later after the successful raising of the siege of Ladysmith, the Light Horse joined the Mafeking Relief Column and were the first to enter the town on the night of 16th – 17th  May 1900.

He appears on page 130 of the Nominal Roll of the Imperial Light Horse as 1011 Trooper Matthew Aaron Langley, and is noted as Killed in Action

In the records of the Second Boer War and Australian casualty records for that period, Trooper Matthew Aaron Langley is listed as having been killed in action at Naauwpoort in the Transvaal on 5th or 6th January 1901 in  serious fighting between government forces and Boer irregulars, and the fallen are commemorated in the Klerksdorp Old Cemetery in the Transvaal.
The record shows:
Langley,                 M A 
Originally from     Windsor, VIC.
Service Number:  1011
Rank:                     Trooper
Unit:                      SAMIF – 1st Imperial Light Horse
Service:                  South African Colonial Forces
Conflict:                South Africa, 1899-1902
Date of Death:      5/01/1901
Place of Death:    Naauwpoort
Cause of Death:   Killed in Action
Cemetery or Memorial Details:
Klerksdorp Cemetery (Transvaal).

On the Commemorative Roll of the Fallen he appears as,
Trooper Mathew Aaron Langley

Service number1011
Death Date05 January 1901
Death PlaceSouth Africa: Cape Colony, Colesberg Area, Naauwport
Final RankTrooper
ServiceSouth African Colonial Forces
Unit1st Imperial Light Horse
Conflict/OperationSouth Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

Since Aaron had not served in an Australian contingent, he is apparently not commemorated by the Australian War Memorial Commission.

In the Melbourne Argus newspaper for Saturday 4th January 1902 in the “Family Notices” column there appears this “In Memoriam” announcement:

LANGLEY.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother Aaron Matthew (Bert), who was killed on active service at Naauwpoort, S. Africa, 5th January 1901

Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Descendants of Guershon Ottolangui

The Second & Third Generations

was born in 1886 in Australia.
He married Veronica Smith in 1921. She was born in 1896 and died in 1969 in Australia. David Ernest died in 1972
David Ernest and Veronica Smith had the following children:

JOAN MARIE OTTOLANGUI/LANGLEY was born on 5th November 1922 in Eisternwick, Victoria, Australia. She died 3rd May 2004. She became a well known public figure and activist. She married a number of times. See her obituary IN MEMORY OF JOAN in this website.

ROBERT ERNEST OTTOLANGUI was born in 1926 in Australia and died in 2003 in Clunes, Victoria, Australia

JOHN LEON OTTOLANGUI born in 1929 in Australia. He married ALICE.

ELIZABETH (BETTY) MARIE OTTOLANGUI born in 1933 in Australia, Choreographer and dance teacher, lives in Montreal, Canada.

David and daughters Elizabeth and Joan

RAYNOR PAULINE OTTOLANGUI/LANGLEY born 1889 in Prahran, Victoria, Australia. She married Roy Leo Murphy in 1923 in Victoria, Australia Roy Leo Murphy and Raynor Pauline Ottolangui had a son PETER MURPHY who was born about 1923 in Australia.

AMELIA (MILLIE) MARY OTTOLANGUI/LANGLEY was born in 1893 in Prahran, Victoria, Australia She married Noble James Bradley on 24th December 1934 in Manila. He was born in Indiana, USA. They had one child, John Hilton Bradley born 1936. Noble James Bradley was killed during the liberation of Manila in February 1945. Amelia lived in Australia for a period of time after the war and then emigrated to the US.

JOHN (JACK) JOSEPH OTTOLANGUI/LANGLEY was born in 1895 in South Yarra, Victoria, Australia. He married Dorothy Thomas in 1936 in Australia. John (Jack) Joseph Ottolangui/Langley and Dorothy Thomas had a son JOHN MICHAEL LANGLEY was born in 1937 in Australia.

Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Descendants of Guershon Ottolangui

GUERSHON OTTOLANGUI, was born on 28th April 1854 in Whitechapel, London, England, he was the youngest son of Aaron Ottolangui and Reyna nee Bensabat ( His given name is in the Bevis Marks S&P congregation’s birth register spelled this way because in Hispanic languages the letter “u” makes the “G” hard as in Ottolangui)

He was known as: George Henry Langley after he changed his name legally in Australia.

He worked as a general dealer (bookmaker) and lived at Brighton Road, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria.

The Young and the Older Gershon

Gershon married Annie Mary Sarah Harvie, daughter of Thomas Harvie, on 21st November 1876 in Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She was born in 1857 in Sydney, Australia.

Annie Langley Harvie and their Silver wedding announcement

Annie Mary Sarah Harvie appeared as Harvey on their son Lewis’s birth record.
She died in 1936 in Australia. Gershon died in 1937 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Gershon Ottolangui known as George Henry Langley and Annie Mary Sarah Harvie had seven children, the FIRST GENERATION of their descendants:

  1. EDITH ETHEL OTTOLANGUI born in 1873 in Australia. She died in 1933 in Australia.

2. AARON MATTHEW OTTOLANGUI, known as Bert Langley, was born in 1881 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Went to South Africa, joined the 1st Imperial Light Horse Regiment, fought and died in the Second Boer War

Aaron “Bert” in Africa

He died in action on 5th January 1901 in Naauwpoort, South Africa – the record states:

Name: Langley, M A    
Originally from Windsor, VIC.
Service Number: 1011
Rank: Trooper
Unit: SAMIF – 1st Imperial Light Horse
Service: South African Colonial Forces
Conflict: South Africa, 1899-1902
Date of Death: 05/01/1901
Place of Death: Naauwpoort, Transvaal.
Cause of Death: Killed in Action
Age at Death: 20
Cemetery/Memorial: Klerksdorp Cemetery

The Klerksdorp Memorial

3 LEWIS GEORGE OTTOLANGUI born in 1884 in Australia. He died in an accident in Western Australia in 1900’s.

4. DAVID ERNEST OTTOLANGUI born in 1886 in Australia.

David Ernest Ottolangui known as David Langley

David Ernest married Veronica Smith in 1921.
She was born in 1896. She died in 1969 in Australia.
He died in 1972 in Australia.

5. RAYNOR PAULINE OTTOLANGUI was born in 1890 in Prahran, Victoria, Australia. She married Roy Leo Murphy in 1923 in Victoria, Australia and she died in 1978 in Australia.

6. AMELIA (MILLIE) MARY OTTOLANGUI born in 1893 in Prahran, Victoria, Australia.

She married Noble James Bradley on 24 Dec 1934 in Manila. He was born in Indiana, USA., and died in 1945 in Manila.

7. JOHN (JACK) JOSEPH OTTOLANGUI born in 1895 in South Yarra, Victoria, Australia

Jack Langley

He married Dorothy Thomas in 1936 in Australia.

Next up: The Second Generation
Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Killed in Action

Jacob Joshua Ottolangui
1894 – 1917
(Also Jacob or John Langley)

Jacob with his mother Agnes

JACOB JOSHUA OTTOLANGUI was born on 5th February 1894 in Dunedin, NZ, and died on 17th August 1917 in France. He was the 11th child of DAVID OTTOLANGUI and AGNES DOSSETT. Jacob joined the forces as John Langley.

He was serving at Romarin camp near Messines (Mesen) in Flanders and while he was on parade some enemy shells fell. Jacob was hit and died as he was being carried to the dressing station at about 10am. He is buried in the Maple Leaf Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belguim.
Maple Leaf Cemetery was begun in December 1914 by fighting units and field ambulances, but from July 1915 to April 1916, the village was occupied by the Advanced Dressing Station of the 3rd Canadian Field Ambulance and the cemetery thus acquired its present name. The last Commonwealth burial was made in December 1917, but German graves were added in April 1918 when the cemetery was in German hands.

From the New Zealand War Graves Project
Service Number:          23573
Name:                          John Langley
Rank:                           Private
Date of Birth:               Not known
Next of Kin:                 Mrs Agnes Langley (mother), 85 Queen Street, Musselburgh,
Dunedin, New Zealand
Date of Enlistment:     Not known
Civil Occupation:         Storeman
Armed Force:              Army
Unit:                             NZEF, Otago Regiment, 1 Battalion
Embarkation Body:     New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Place:    Wellington, New Zealand
Embarkment Date:     27 May 1916
Transport:                    HMNZT 54 or HMNZT 55
Vessel:                         Willochra or Tofua
Destination:                  Plymouth or Devonport, England
Cause of Death:           Killed in action at Messines
Date of Death:              17 August 1917
Day of Death:               Friday
Age at Death:               22

Ottolangui-Langley OZ & NZ

Missing in Action

Herbert Ottolangui 1891 – 1915

 Herbert Henry Walter Frederick Ottolangui 1891- 1915 (Also Langley) 9th child of DAVID OTTOLANGUI and AGNES DOSSETT, born on 7th November 1891 in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Served as a Private Herbert Langley, Army no. 12/593A in the 6th Company, Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F. Herbert was missing in action and presumed dead aged 24 on Sunday 25th April 1915

Herbert’s name is on the memorial at the Lone Pine Cemetery near Gallipoli in Turkey.  He is remembered there with 4,933 other casualties.

From New Zealand War Graves Project

Service Number:                    12/593A
Name:                                      Herbert Langley
Rank:                                       Private
Date of Birth:                          Not known
Next of Kin:                             Mrs A. Langley, Queen’s Drive,
Musselburgh, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Date of Enlistment:                Not known
Enlistment Address:              Queen’s Drive, Musselburgh, N.Z.
Armed Force:                           Army
Unit:                                         NZEF, Auckland Regiment, 6 Company
Embarkation Body:                 Main Body
Embarkation Place:                 Port Chalmers, New Zealand
Embarkment Date:                  16 October 1914
Transport:                                HMNZT 5 or HMNZT Vessel:                                     Ruapehu or Hawkes Bay
Destination:                             Suez, Egypt
Cause of Death:                       Killed in action
Date of Death:                          25 April 1915
Day of Death:                           Sunday.

The Charleston Ottolengui

The Charleston Ottolengui


Unfortunately, we have not been able to establish a link to the Charleston Ottolengui, so I’m going to give that a rest for a while and wait for something to turn up as it usually does sooner or later.
This then will be the last of my Charleston Ottolengui stories………….for the time being, at least.


Orthodontist, lepidopterist, editor, novelist. Benjamin Adolph Rodrigues Ottolengui MDS, DDS, LLD, FACD, was born in Charleston four weeks before the outbreak of the Civil War, on 15th March 1861. (Incidentally South Carolina was the first state to secede.) He was the second of three children born to Daniel Ottolengui (grandson of Mordecai Ottolengui the founder of the Charleston dynasty) a newspaperman and dramatist, and Helen Rosalie Rodriguez, an author. His maternal grandfather Benjamin Adolph Rodrigues was a pioneer dentist who had played an important part in establishing dentistry in South Carolina.

Known to friends simply as “Rod”, Rodrigues Ottolengui attended the College of Charleston but moved to New York City in 1877, only just 16 years old, to serve an apprenticeship under the dentist Dr. J. Albert Kimball. He obtained a master’s degree in dental surgery from the Regents of the State of New York in 1885. He then practiced dentistry in the office of Dr. William A. Atkinson, “dean” of the dental profession. He served another apprenticeship with Dr. Norman Kingsley, who tutored him in cleft palate. As Kingsley’s protégé, Rodrigues Ottolengui became interested in orthodontics and began writing articles on “regulating” teeth in 1892. He made substantial contributions to pulp canal therapy and cleft palate restoration and was a pioneer in the dental use X-rays.

Rodrigues Ottolengui was the leading dental editor of the early 20th century and guided specialist orthodontics during its formative years. Neither Angle-trained (Edward Hartley Angle “Father of American Dentistry”) nor a specialist, Ottolengui’s heritage was both in dentistry and literature, and he was to follow both those legacies with distinction. He authored a dental text, Methods of Filling Teeth; a chapter on malocclusion in Fones’s Textbook for Dental Hygienists; and a collection of dental writings published under the title Table Talks on Dentistry. He was a dental editor for almost forty years, starting in 1896 with Items of Interest, a periodical (later Dental Items of Interest). He enlarged it into a journal and inaugurated a department of orthodontics, which he illustrated with drawings of classical figures from mythology. He also published the proceedings of the American Society of Orthodontists from 1901 to 1920 until it was taken over by the International Journal of Orthodontia. He was a crusader for regulation in the dental profession and by the introduction of legislation, Ottolengui helped eliminate charlatans, quacks, and other illegal practitioners from New York City.  He was president of the original Brooklyn Dental Society; the Second District Dental Society; and the Dental Society of New York. He was made a member of the Odontographic Society of France and the Dental Society of Denmark; an honorary Doctor of Dental Surgery at Creighton University; an honorary LLD at Valparaiso University; and a fellow of the American College of Dentists.

An almost obsessive reader of detective stories, Rod Ottolengui was not only a pioneer in forensic dentistry but author of at least 30 publications including 27 mystery novels and short stories as well as many articles on dentistry. The SATURDAY REVIEW OF LITERATURE called Ottolengui “the dental counterpart… of England’s physician crime solver, Dr (Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle. (creator of Sherlock Holmes)” The literary figure Ellery Queen dubbed Ottolengui “one of the most neglected authors in the entire history of the detective story.” (Ellery Queen was actually the pen name created in 1929 by crime fiction writers Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee and the name of their main fictional character, a mystery writer in New York City who helps his police inspector father solve baffling murders). Rod’s first mystery, An Artist in Crime (1893), was also published in England, and translated for publication in France, Poland, and Germany. His next book, A Conflict of Evidence (1893), was followed by A Modern Wizard (1894), which was brought to the attention of the Pasteur Institute because of the possibility advanced in the story that some forms of insanity were traceable to microorganisms. He also wrote The Crime of the Century (1896) and Final Proof: Or the Value of Evidence (1898).

Rodrigues Ottolengui’s hobbies included taxidermy and photography. A member of the New York Camera Club, he gained recognition for his pinpoint prints of landscapes and Rembrandt-style portraits.

He was a charter member of the New York Entomological Society. His interest in the family of noctuid moths, the plusiide (plusiae), led him to become the leading authority in the United States on this group. (Plusia moths are particularly destructive pests active at night, but their larvae (caterpillars) usually feed during the day on the leaves and shoots of onions, peppers, beans, potatoes, beets, alfalfa, aromatic herbs such as basil, mint, etc.) His specimen collection outnumbered those in the British Museum and in Washington.  In 1913 he wrote a monograph on every North American species of plusiae, describing fourteen new species and illustrating them with his own photographs. The American Museum of Natural History allotted his collection special space and labelled it “The Ottolengui Collection.”

Rodrigues Ottolengui was awarded several honorary doctorates. His wife, May Hall Ottolengui, died on 10th July 1936. Rodrigues Ottolengui died of a heart ailment and a stroke after a long illness in New York City on July 11, 1937.

“Rod” Ottolengui’s death in 1937 stimulated numerous testimonials from the dental profession. He had helped shape the future of American dentistry, but also contributed in no small way, as one writer put it, “to the growth of the lusty infant, orthodontia. His memory will linger, and his important influence will be felt for all in both dentistry and orthodontia.”

Ottolangui UK


The Battle of Cable Street, London – 4th October 1936

Cable Street in Shadwell in the East End of London is a main thoroughfare of the area between Commercial Road and the River Thames, a working class area populated at the time by many Jewish families including members of our Ottolangui family, dockers and labourers from many different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

On this day in 1936 the East End was targeted for a demonstration by the British Union of Fascists lead by Sir Oswald Mosely (1896 –1980) 6th Baronet and former Member of Parliament for Harrow from 1918-1924, first as a Conservative, then an Independent, before joining the Labour Party. At the General Election in 1924 he stood in Ladywood, Birmingham, against Neville Chamberlain, the future Prime Minister and lost by 100 votes. Later he was elected MP for Smethwick in the West Midlands and was at one time a prospective candidate for Prime Minister in the Labour Party but he resigned over the party’s unemployment policy and then formed his own political party the “New Party” which became the British Union of Fascists.
After the death of his first wife, Mosely in 1936 married his mistress Diana Guinness née Mitford, in secret in the Berlin home of Germany’s Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Dr. Josef Goebbels. His hero, Adolf Hitler, was their guest of honour.

When Mosely’s plans for his 3,000 strong black-shirt Fascist army wearing Nazi style uniforms and insignia to march through the East End became known,

Mosely inspecting “his troops”

the Home Secretary John Simon was petitioned by around 100,000 citizens to ban the march. He not only declined the request but instructed 6,000 officers from the Metropolitan Police to protect the marchers.

A confrontation took place at Gardiners’ Corner near Aldgate East Tube Station at the junction of Aldgate High Street, Whitechapel Road and Commercial Road, where about 20,000 demonstrators turned out to face the marchers and their 6,000 strong police escort which included mounted units. The demonstrators fought back with sticks, rocks, chair legs and other improvised weapons. Rubbish, rotten vegetables and the contents of chamber pots were thrown at the marchers by women in houses along the street.  

Gardiners’ Corner, Aldgate

At the junction of Christian Street and Cable Street, the demonstrators, Jews, Irish labourers and Christian dockers built barricades and a series of running battles ensued. Local children tossed marbles on the ground in front of the horses of the advancing mounted police preventing them from approaching the demonstrators.

Mosley was forced to abandon the march fearing the serious defeat of his Fascist black-shirts and was escorted by the police to Hyde Park where the Fascists dispersed in disarray.

The event is commemorated by this plaque –

and by this mural painted on the wall of St. George’s Town Hall in Shadwell

The myth of Cable Street - Reaction

An eyewitness account in a video interview of Louis Frosh, one of the “marble tossing” children can be viewed here –

The Charleston Ottolengui

The Charleston Ottolengui Part Four

Florence and Nina were daughters of Israel Ottolengui (1832–1895 grandson of Mordecai Ottolengui), and Rosalie Cecile Moise (1835–1914). They had 11 siblings four of whom died in infancy.

Florence and Nina Ottolengui took over the cafeteria of the Women’s Exchange for Women’s Work in Charleston which was founded in 1885 to help the city’s “educated poor’ become self-sufficient. Items on sale there included foods, flowers, and artisanal hand crafts. It continued the trend of charity work of Southern ladies before and during the Civil War. The exchange began with a simple stated purpose, which was to assist needy women become financially secure “systematically and delicately”. It was run on what they called “purely business principles” accepting work solely on merit and not because of any undue sympathy for the producer.

The Women’s Exchange, Charleston

Florence and Nina opened the “Lady Baltimore Tea Room” which they ran for around 25 years.  They developed the eponymous Lady Baltimore Cake from a version of the common “Queen Cake” of that period. 

Typical Lady Baltimore Cakes

The cake however had nothing to do with the infamous Lady Baltimore. Lady Charlotte Lee who was born in 1678 at St. James’s Park in London. She was the eldest of at least fourteen children of Edward Henry Lee, the first Earl of Litchfield (1663 –1716) and Lady Charlotte Fitzroy (1664 –1718) illegitimate daughter of King Charles II by his mistress Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine, Duchess of Cleveland. Lady Charlotte’s mother was fourteen at the time of her birth, having married the Earl of Lichfield at thirteen. He was only fifteen at that time. At the age of twenty in 1699, the younger Charlotte married her first husband Benedict Leonard Calvert, 4th Baron Baltimore  and assumed the title of Lady Baltimore in 1715, when her husband became Baron Baltimore upon the death of his father, the third Baron Baltimore.

Florence and Nina’s Lady Baltimore Tea Cake found national fame when it was immortalized in a book by Owen Wister (1860-1938), a popular novelist of the time who authored “The Virginian” (1902) and “Lady Baltimore”(1906).

Florence and Nina reportedly sent a cake to Owen Wister every year in appreciation of his contribution to their success. At Christmas time, they shipped hundreds of white boxes carrying tall, round fragile gift cakes to all parts of the country.

Florence died on 6th April 1928 aged 68 at 84, Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, S. Carolina, and was buried on 8th April 1928 in the Huguenin Avenue Cemetery – this is her memorial.

Nina died at the age of 80 on 8th May 1960 at Asheville, North Carolina and is buried at the city’s Lewis Memorial Park.