Farnborough Grammar School

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Phillips - Pawnbrokers

Woolf H. Cohen was born in 1838 in Lithuania and considered himself to be Russian. He came to live in Aldershot, his first appearance on the census being in 1861. He was one of eight Aldershot residents who formed a Jewish synagogue there. They were Frederick Levy, Moses Phillips, Joseph Lazareck, Selim Melson, Woolf Cohen, Francis Phillips, Samuel Lazareck, and Michael Melson. Moses Phillips was a jeweller as was Selim Melson. Joseph Lazareck combined the trades of clothier and jeweller. Francis Phillips was watch-maker, and Woolf Cohen a general merchant.

Woolf married Harriet, daughter of Moses Phillips, in London during the first quarter of 1860. In the Kelly’s trade directory of 1878 Woolfe is listed as rag merchant and pawnbroker.

By 1881 the census showed him employing seven men and trading as a pawnbroker under his wife’s maiden name of Phillips at 18 & 19 High Street, Aldershot, and widowed. Harriet had died at the beginning of 1880 aged 39. In 1881 Woolf was living with sons; Barron (born about 1863), Joseph (born about 1866), Marcus (born 1867) and Abraham (born about 1869). The business was clearly thriving, Woolf had three domestic servants.

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