The Brombergs – A series of unfortunate eventualities
Ernestine Bromberg was born in or around 1839, the daughter of Leip and Muriel Holz. By the time she came to settle in Bradford was married to the Taylor Mark Bromberg.
The couple had tragically lost a little baby daughter, whom they had called Sarah, when she was aged just 2 weeks old on 15th November 1879. At this time the couple lived at 6 Piccadilly which is just around the corner from the present Waterstones Bookshop on Hustlergate.
Just over a year later the Brombergs were living at 104 Pollard Street. On December 12th 1880, Ernestine died, at the age of just 41, in a city whose average life expectancy at the time was about 25. Her husband Mark is named as the informant in the ‘Register of Interments at the Reform Jewish Section, Scholemoor Cemetery, Bradford’.
By 1886 Mark had married again, this time to Rebecca. They were now living at 5 Portland Street. Tragedy would strike again for Mark, 7 years after his baby daughter Sarah had died in infancy. The couple had a daughter, Rebecca who would live to be just 7 weeks before her time on earth was untimely through, on August 3rd 1886.
Further tragedy would befall the family when Marks son died aged just 11 within six months of his little baby sister Rebecca’s death. Israel Bromberg passed away in the winter of 1887, on 18th January.
Yet more sorrow would enter the Bromberg residence of number 5 Portland Street the following October when on the 1st day of the tenth month Mark and Flora (perhaps a nickname for Frederica) would loose yet another baby girl, another Rebecca, aged only 4 days.
This series of sad events clearly shows just how frequent infant mortality was in the Victorian era, and no matter how upsetting and distressing it was, death was simply a part of life. Funerals and mourning was an everyday occurance, which in time would affect the psyche of the Victorian people to the point that they would become obsessed by death and funerary culture. Or at least that is how we perceive it today through our extremely sophisticated hi-tech and fortunate early 21st Century eyes.