Ridley Haim Herschell


Ridley Haim Herschell

Ridley Haim Herschell (7 April 1807 - 14 April 1864) was an Anglo-Polish minister who converted from Judaism to Evangelical Christianity.

Herschell was born in Strzelno in the Duchy of Warsaw, a French satellite state in Poland that had previously been under Prussian control. His parents were pious Jews and Haim Herschell decided at a very early age that he wanted to be a rabbi. He left home and studied under various teachers. Later, encouraged by his parents, he moved to Berlin to study literature and lived a decadent life,"like a Christian" [Herschell, R. (1848) Jewish Witnesses; That Jesus is the Christ] He visited England for the first time on vacation but returned to Berlin in order to finish his studies before moving finally to London "via" Paris, [Sanderson. G. B. Memoir of Ridley Haim Herschell. Printed for private circulation 1869 ]

In France he experienced a dramatic religious conversion to Christianity and struggled with his Jewish faith [Herschell, R. (1848) Jewish Witnesses; That Jesus is the Christ] He sought help from Roman Catholic clergy but eventually turned to English evangelical contacts he had discovered in Paris through a mysterious letter of introduction he had been given before his conversion. Reconciled with his Jewish roots, but not his family, he left for England, [Sanderson. G.B., Memoir of Ridley Haim Herschell. Printed for private circulation 1869 ]

He entered an institution for converted Jews in the East End of London [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1] and was baptized by the Bishop of London, sponsored by high-society evangelical Christians, [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1] He married Helen Skirving Mowbray, [Sanderson. G. B. Memoir of Ridley Haim Herschell. Printed for private circulation 1869] a woman ten years older than himself from Leith whom he met apparently by a chance introduction in London. [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1] They had a shared interest in the fashionable Scottish preacher Edward Irving. She had taken a deep interest in Judaism and the restoration of Israel and had already learned Hebrew. [Sanderson, G.B.(edited by R.H. Herschell) Far above Rubies, London 1854] They were both ostracized by their families, moved to the poor districts of Woolwich and Camden Town and experienced hard times in spite of their upper class connections. [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1] They had the first of five children, two of whom would die young, [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1]

Having financial problems caused by a wayward brother who left for America, they planned to go to Hamburg where they could live less expensively in a Jewish community [Sanderson. G. B. Memoir of Ridley Haim Herschell. Printed for private circulation 1869] but were invited by Lady Olivia Sparrow, a wealthy landowner, to manage her schools in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex and Brampton, Cambridgeshire, [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1] But Ridley was more and more used as a preacher and pastor to the local people, [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1] He felt called to be an evangelist, which was supported by reports of amazing conversion experiences as a result of his preaching in the violent fishing village. [Johnson, S.F., A Fisher of Men. Printed for private circulation 1945] One of the fishermen who heard him preach, Michael Tomlin, would eventually become a full-time Methodist minister in the town and a church bears his name to this day. [Whittingham Avenue Methodist Church (Michael Tomlin Memorial),Southend-on-Sea, Essex]

In time Trinity Chapel in West London, which could accommodate 1,200 people, was built and opened for Herschell by Sir Culling Eardley and other rich supporters. But his faith was to be tested many times, especially after the death of his much loved wife and his second son, [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1] In 1855 he re-married to a rich heiress, Esther Fuller-Maitland, who had been in the wings for many years and was a friend of the family. Ridley died 14 April 1864, while resting in the seaside resort of Brighton, [Henderson, G. (2007). All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell. HTS Media. ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1]

Ridley and Helen had five children:

*Ghetal (1833-1909)
*Esther (1834-1840)
*Mary (1836-1899)
*Farrer Herschell, 1st Baron Herschell (1837-1899)
*Ridley Judah (1839-1862)

References

Bibliography

By Herschell

*Herschell, R. H. (1842) "Reasons Why I, a Jew, Have Become a Catholic, and not a Roman Catholic. A Letter in Reply to The Rev. R.W. Sibthorp."
*— (1843a) "The National Restoration of the Jews to their Fatherland, and Consequent Fulfilment of the Promise to the Patriachs. A Sermon on Hebrews 11:16 with a Preliminary Address by H.I.D."
*— (1843b) "A Visit to my Father Land, Being Notes of a Journey to Syria and Palestine in 1843"
*— (ed.) (1845-47) ישראל לקו "The Voice of Israel. Conducted by Jews who Believe in Jesus of Nathareth as the Messiah" 2 vols
*— (ed.) (1846) "Psalms and Hymns for Congregational Worship"
*— (ed.) (1848a) "Jewish Witnesses; That Jesus is the Christ"
*— (1848b) "The Mystery of the Gentile Dispensation, and the Work of the Messiah"
*— (1856) "A Visit to my Father Land, Being Notes of a Journey to Syria and Palestine. With Additional Notes of a Journey in 1854"
*— (1858) "The Golden Lamp: An Eexposition of the Tabernacle and its Services"
*R. H. H. [Ridley Haim Herschell] (1834) "A Brief Sketch of the Present State and Future Expectations of the Jews: In a Letter Addressed to his Christian Friends"
*— (1860) "Strength in Weakness. Meditations on Some of the Psalms"

About Herschell

*Binfield, C. {1997) "Jews in evangelical dissent: the British society, the Herschell connexion and the pre-millenarian thread", in M. Wilks (ed.) "Prophecy and Eschatology" Brewer, ISBN 0631190511
*Burdon-Sanderson, G. (1891) "Herschell, Ridley Haim (1807–1864), dissenting minister", in S. Lee (ed.) "Dictionary of National Biography"
* cite book | author=— | title=Memoir of Ridley Haim Herschell | publisher=privately printed | location=London | year=1869
* cite book | title=All Love - A Biography of Ridley Herschell | author=Henderson, G. | publisher=HTS Media | year=2007 | id=ISBN 978-0-9555304-0-1
*Jacobs, J. & Lipkind, G. (1906) " [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=645&letter=H&search=herschell Herschell, Ridley Haim] ", "Jewish Encyclopedia", vol.VI, "p."363
*Stunt, T. C. F. (2004) " [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/13104 Herschell, Ridley Haim (1807–1864)] ", "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", Oxford University Press


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