Levy, Alexander

Plot Location Hong Kong Cemetery
Plot 23/10/11
Surname Levy
Given Name(s) Alexander
Place of Birth Strand district, London
Date of Birth (Eng) 1840
Date of Birth (Heb)
Date of Death (Eng) October 30, 1889
Date of Death (Heb)
Age at Death 49
Hebrew Name
Spouse’s Name Alice Levy née Norton
Father’s Name Morrice Levy
Mother’s Name Hannah Levy née Alexander
Other Surnames
Sex M
Marital Status M
Maiden Name
Title (e.g., Dr)
Religious Status (כ/ל/י)
Cause of Death
Other Family Data He had 15 siblings. Two of his brothers, Henry and Albert, also went to China. Henry died in Shanghai in 1863 at the age of 26.
Inscription (Eng) IN LOVING MEMORY OF ALEXANDER LEVY WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 30TH OCTOBER. 1889. IN HIS 50TH YEAR. THERE IS NO DEATH. WHAT SEEMS SO. IS TRANSITION. THIS LIFE OF MORTAL BREATH IS BUT A SUBURB OF THE LIFE ELYSIAN. WHOSE PORTAL WE CALL DEATH.
Inscription (Heb) פ נ ת נ צ ב ה
Inscription (Other)
Historical Alexander arrived in HK in 1859 to work for the brokering firm, C. C. Cohen & Co., located on D’Aguilar Street. At that time, he lived with the firm’s founder, Charles Coleman Cohen. He was appointed the agent for Hong Kong of the South British Insurance Company (now part of the Aviva Group) in 1886. On July 24, 1889, a new agent was appointed. It is unclear whether he left the company at that point or if he was too ill to continue working as he died just a few months later.

On June 11, 1863, in Shanghai, he joined the Northern Lodge of China, associated with the United Grand Lodge of England, where he remained a member until 1867, when he transferred to the Perseverance Lodge of Hong Kong. This lodge included other Jewish members, such as Charles Coleman Cohen, Raphael Aaron Belilios and Henry Ash Cohen.

In 1869, he was summoned to court on the charge of assaulting Charles Cohen’s boy (servant). The boy had answered back when Alexander Levy told him to clean the verandah, saying “suppose you no like my, more better you catchee another boy”. Levy gave him four blows to the face for this impertinence, which the magistrate thought quite reasonable, fining him only 25 cents.

His father was a sheriff’s officer (similar to a bailiff, it was the family business), a wine merchant and part-owner of the Drury Lane Theatre. He had eight children (including Alexander) with his first wife, Hannah Alexander, and another eight children with his second wife, also named Hannah, and whom he married 15 months after the death of the first Hannah. Morrice’s father, William Levy, founded the family fortune from keeping a brothel in London, which fortune was further increased through the business of sheriff’s officer and associated money lending.

In addition to his two brothers who also went to China, he had another brother who was a magician, ran postal bodybuilding courses, and promoted home electroplating powder. His nephews included a pioneer of Canadian broadcasting, an artist who wrote an anthropological study of Samoa, and a member of the British Special Forces in WWII.

He married Alice, a Protestant from Manchester, on September 1, 1887, in a church in Hong Kong.

Do you have any information about this person that you would like to share?
If so, we’d like to hear from you!