It was inevitable that members of the congregations of these Synagogues would be in the forefront of the movement for Jewish political emancipation at this time, and “the Bevis Marks” had the Goldsmiths, the Montefiores and the Disraelis (Benjamin was in fact baptised into the Church of England) and “theGreat” had the Rothschilds, all of whom provided many “firsts”, the first to be elected to parliament, the first Baronet, the first peer etc. To compete with these well known families “the New” had only the Salomans family but with David Saloman they certainly held their own, for he was first to stand for parliament, the second to be elected, and the first to speak there, and was the fourth to be given a Baronetcy, but above all he was the first to be elected Sheriff in 1835, to be elected Alderman in 1847 and to be elected Lord Mayor in 1855. It would be pleasing to record that the Company offered him their congratulations, but in the absence of any record of such courtesies it is a source of some satisfaction to reflect that Bricklayers’ Hall has given to the city, at least by proxy, not two, but three, Lord Mayors.
The next occupants of the Hall were a Jewish Mechanics Institution who were shortly succeeded by the Jewish Literary and Scientific Institute under whose occupation the Hall became known as “Sussex Hall” in Honour of Augustus Frederick Duke of Sussex (1773-1843), the 6th son of George III, who was known for his sympathy towards the Jewish community, possessed a considerable library of Hebrew books, and who was described as having “dabbled in Hebrew and patronised Anglo-Jewish institutions”. The Duke’s name remained associated with the site as long as the Company’s ownership lasted, the building which replaced the Hall under the redevelopment of the 1880s being named “Sussex House”, and the Cock Tavern, whose name had been good enough for its patrons for some three centuries, progressed gradually upmarket to the “Sussex Tavern” and eventually “The Sussex Arms”, until it vanished altogether.