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YATES, BENJAMIN ELIAKIM.

First minister of the congregation at Liverpool, England; died there 1798. He was the elder son of Eliakim Getz (Goetz) of Strelitz, and he himself also appears to have been a native of Strelitz. On going to England he became an itinerant seal-engraver, and probably settled in one of the southwestern counties. Subsequently he located in Liverpool, where he became an engraver and working jeweler; and with this calling he combined that of minister or rabbi of the infant Liverpool congregation, acting also as ḥazzan, shoḥeṭ, and mohel. His residence, at 109 Frederick street, is believed to have been the first regular synagogue of the Liverpool Jews. Its small garden was used as a burial-ground, and Benjamin Yates was the last person interred in it.

After Benjamin's death his younger brother, Samuel, settled in Liverpool, probably in order to manage the engraving and jewelry business left by his brother, and to look after the latter's young and helpless family. Samuel Yates became, by his marriage with Martha Abrahams, of Shaftesbury, Somersetshire, a progenitor of the leading families of the Liverpool community (see Samuel and Yates).

Bibliography:
  • Lucien Wolf, History and Genealogy of the Jewish Families of Yates and Samuel of Liverpool, London, 1901;
  • Gore, Liverpool Directory, 1790, 1796, and 1800;
  • Margoliouth, Jews of Great Britain, iii. 110-112 (to be corrected by Wolf);
  • Jewish World, August 10, 1877;
  • Isaac Leeser, History of the Jews and Their Religion, in Griffin's Cyclopœdia of Religious Denominations, p. 11, London, 1853.
J. I. H.
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