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CALMER, LIEFMANN:

Baron of Picquigny, an important personage in French Jewry of the eighteenth century; born in Aurich, Hanover, in 1711; died in Paris Dec. 17, 1784. His full synagogal name was Moses Eliezer Lipmann ben Kalonymus—in German, "Kallmann," whence the family name "Calmer" is said to have been derived. From "Lipmann" undoubtedly came "Liefmann." Calmer first settled in The Hague, and later left Holland for France, in which country he obtained letters of naturalization.

On April 27, 1774, Pierre Briet, lord of Benapré, as straw-man for Calmer, bought from the creditors of the duke of Chaulnes the barony of Picquigny and viscountcy of Amiens for 1,500,000 francs. A little later it was declared that the purchase was made in the name of Liefmann Calmer, full citizen of The Hague and naturalized Frenchman. He thus became baron of Picquigny and viscount of Amiens. Calmer had three sons, two of whom were guillotined during the Reign of Terror; the third dying without issue in 1824.

Bibliography:
  • Isidore Loeb, Un Baron Juif Français au XVIIIe Siècle, in Annuaire des Archives Israélites, 1885-1886, p. 136;
  • Léon Kahn, Histoire de la Communauté Israélite de Paris, 1886, Appendix, p. 189.
J. H. Gut.
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