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The Sassoon family is a family of international renown, which originated in the Jewish community of Baghdad, said to have originally been descended from Ibn Shoshans, of Spain.

Sassoon ben Salih (1750 - 1830) was a banker to the vali (provincial governor) of Baghdad. His son David (1792 - 1864) fled from a new and unfriendly vali, going first to the Gulf port of Bushehr in 1828 and then to Bombay, India, in 1832, with his large family. In Bombay, he built the international business called David S. Sassoon, with the policy of staffing it with people brought from Baghdad. They filled the functions of the various branches of his business in India, Burma, Malay, and east Asia. In each branch, he maintained a rabbi. His wealth and munificence were proverbial, and his business extended to China - where Sassoon House (now the north wing of the Peace Hotel) on the Bund in Shanghai became a noted landmark - and then to England.

His eight sons also branched out into many directions. The Sassoon family was very heavily involved in the opium trade in China and India. Elias David (1820 - 1880), his son by his first wife, had been the first of the sons to go to China, in 1844. He later returned to Bombay, before leaving the firm to establish E. D. Sassoon in 1867, with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Another son, Albert Abdullah David Sassoon (1818 - 1896) took on the running of the firm on his father's death, and notably constructed the Sassoon Docks, the first wet dock built in western India. With two of his brothers he later became prominent in England and the family great friends of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII.

Of those who settled in England, Sir Edward Albert Sassoon (1856 - 1912), the son of Albert, married Aline Caroline de Rothschild, and was a Conservative member of Parliament from 1899 until his death. The seat was then inherited by his son Sir Philip Sassoon (1888 - 1939) from 1912 until his death. Sir Philip served in World War I as military secretary to Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig and, during the 1920s and 1930s, as Britain's undersecretary of state for air. The twentieth-century English poet, memoirist, and anti-war figure Siegfried Sassoon (1886 - 1967) was David's great-grandson. Intermarriage in England has caused the general loss of Judaism within this branch.

The branch that carried on the ancestral tradition has been represented by Rabbi Solomon David Sassoon (1915 - 1985), who moved from Letchworth to London and then to Jerusalem in 1970. He was the son of the David Sassoon who collected Jewish books and manuscripts and who catalogued them in Ohel David, in two volumes. This David was the son of Flora Abraham, who had moved from India to England in 1901 and established a famous salon in her London home. Solomon Sassoon had one son, Isaac S.D. Sassoon, who is also a rabbi.

Family tree

Flora (Fahra) Reuben
Faraj Hayim
Alfred Ezra Sassoon
Flora (Farha) Hayim [second wife]
Siegfried Sassoon
Sassoon David Sassoon
The Thornycroft family
Theresa Thornycroft
George Thornycroft Sassoon
Hester Gatty
Arthur Sassoon
Reuben Sassoon
Kate Sassoon
Rebecca Sassoon
Simha Sassoon
Mozelle Sassoon
Rifka Elkebir
Aaron Sassoon
Heskel Elkebir
Frederick Sassoon
Solomon David Sassoon (1841-1894)
Shoua Heskel Elkebir
David Solomon Sassoon
Rabbi Solomon David Sassoon
Rabbi Isaac S.D. Sassoon
Ezekiel Abraham (Heskel Shoua Heskel Elkebir)
Mazaltov (Muzli Toba) Somekh
Flora (Farha) Abraham
Aziza Sassoon
Saleh Sassoon
David Sassoon
Joseph Sassoon
Hannah Moses
Sir Albert Abdullah David Sassoon, 1st Baronet
Sir Edward Albert Sassoon, 2nd Baronet
Sir Philip Albert Gustave David Sassoon, 3rd Baronet
The Rothschild family
Aline Caroline Rothschild
Sybil Rachel Betty Cécile Sassoon
David Sassoon
Jacob Elias Sassoon, 1st Baronet
Hannah Joseph [first wife]
Elias David Sassoon
Edward Elias Sassoon, 2nd Baronet
Victor Sassoon, 3rd Baronet
Charles Sassoon
Meyer Sassoon
David Sassoon

External links

This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain.

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