Fremantle Stuff > People > Abraham Moise Josephson

Abraham Moise Josephson

Abraham Moise Josephson was transported for forgery, arriving on the Lord Dalhousie in 1863: he had been found with money moulds in his possession. He completed his sentence in 1868. He was in 1896 the keeper of a shop on the site of the present National Hotel, on the corner of Market and High Sts. He was later a successful pearl merchant, and was involved in the establishment of the Synagogue. He owned the Park Hotel (in Parry St opposite Fremantle Park on the corner of Ellen St) which was designed for him in 1893 by J. Talbot Hobbs who also extended it four years later, doubling it in size and Parry St frontage. There is a Josephson St leading from High St to Ellen St: it is named for AMJ, who built a row of three-storeyed houses in that street. He died in Hastings in 1907.
Baker Street was originally named Leah Street by Josephson (who had a daughter of that name, see below) and John McCleery, Fremantle merchants who purchased Fremantle Lots 828, 829, 830, 23 March 1886, and subdivided them to create many smaller lots. Leah Street was created to provide road access to the new properties that were sold between 1886 and 1891. Changed from Leah to Baker in 1908/09. Josephson and McCleery both have streets named after them.

The next person is Abraham Moyce Josephson, and of course we have a Josephson Street which comes off High Street, beyond Market and just before Parry He was a well known business man and a keen Freemason, which was very important in those days. He made bed ends. The story is that there was a ship which came into Fremantle with a cargo of material used for making mattresses. The cargo had caught alight and someone suggested to Josephson it would be a smart idea if he bought it as it was going for a song. He was making beds, why not the jute to make mattresses? And I believe that was the start of Joyce Bros, the well-known West Australian bedding manufacturers. So Mr Josephson was another early personality. Silbert 1999: 81.

The Late A. M. Josephson's Will

Probate bas been granted of the will of the late Abraham Moise Josephson, formerly of Fremantle, who died at Hastings, in England, on December 13, 1907. The net value of the deceased's estate has been sworn at £21,026 4s. 3d. It consists almost entirely of Perth and Fremantle town property, the realty alone amounting to £20,310.
He leaves a diamond ring, diamond pin, and diamond sleeve-links to Mr. John McCleery, of Fremantle. A number of legacies are provided for certain relatives for distribution among London charities. All his personal and household effects he leaves for division in equal shares between his daughters Naomi and Leah. After the realisation of his personal and real estate (other than the premises at Perth leased to Messrs. Goode, Durrant and Co., and the Park Hotel premises at Fremantle, leased to the Swan Brewery Co.); the balance is is to be divided into four equal parts and one part paid to each of the following: His brother, Lazarus Josephson; his sister, Annie Josephson; his niece, Zisley Josephson; and Rachel Friedland.
The residue of the estate is to be held by the trustee (Sir Walter James), who is to pay each of the daughters £6 a week, the balance of the annual income to be placed to a suspense account to which repairs and improvements will be debited, and the remainder (if any) divided between the daughters. The testator concludes with an earnest wish that his daughters will marry husbands of the Jewish faith. Sunday Times, Sunday 1 March 1908, page 13

References and Links

Mossenson, David 1990, Hebrew, Israelite, Jew, UWA Press.

Silbert, Eric 1999, 'Jewish personalities of Fremantle', Fremantle Studies, 1: 77-91.

"A. M. Josephson". Fremantle Times. 4 April 1919. Quoted in the Fremantle Library local history collection, ref. 728.5 National Hotel (M).

Garry Gillard | New: 23 November, 2014 | Now: 16 November, 2019