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VAN OVEN, BARNARD:

English physician and communal worker; born in London 1796; died there July 9, 1860; youngest son of Joshua Van Oven. He was brought up for the medical profession, studying under Sir William Blizard and receiving the degree of L.R.C.S. in 1818. He practised in London during his whole life, and had an extensive clientele among the Jewish community.

Van Oven was one of the pioneers in the movement for the removal of the disabilities of the Jews in England. In 1829 he wrote the first appeal which directed public attention to the subject, and which was entitled "An Appeal to the British Nation on Behalf of the Jews." He followed this up by organizing committees in support of the movement, and by convening public meetings, at which he was an indefatigable speaker. In 1847 he published the pamphlet "Ought Baron Rothschild to Sit in Parliament?" He was subsequently appointed chairman of the committee which celebrated the success of the agitation by the establishment of commemoration scholarships at several public schools. Van Oven served on the committees of most of the Jewish institutions of his day, and was instrumental in establishing the Jews' Infant Schools. In 1827 he had been appointed physician to the poor of the Great Synagogue, which position he filled for many years.

Van Oven was the author of a work entitled "The Decline of Life in Health and Disease" (London, 1853).

Bibliography:
  • Jew. Chron. July 13, 1860;
  • Brit. Mus. Cat. s.v.
J. G. L.
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