Daniel Solomon – Diamond Cutter and Merchant of London (born 1748)


“Diamond” comes from the Greek “adamao”: “I tame” or “I subdue.” The adjective “adamas” was used to describe the hardest substance known, and eventually became synonymous with diamond.

I know next to nothing about the history of Diamond Cutting and even less about the occupation in 18th Century, London. Although It’s certainly an interesting profession and one I can imagine paid more than most jobs.

Daniel solomon was my 6x great-grandfather and he was employed as a Diamond Cutter, through researching Newspapers of 18th century London, one family seems to dominate this profession in London, they were brothers Jacob and Henry Hart, of Gulston-square, Whitechapel, London.

It’s very likely that Daniel Solomon was employed by these brothers.

By 1770, Daniel  was recorded as a Diamond Merchant, and by this stage he was probably self-employed, local newspapers dating from this period, record him as dealing in some very large Diamonds.

Early Life

Daniel Solomon was born on the 17th May 1748, in the parish of St. Sepulchre, London. He was baptised into the parish church on the 23rd June and he was the youngest of six siblings born to parents Daniel Solomon and Elizabeth (Nee; Bone).

The children of Daniel Solomon and Elizabeth (Nee; Bone)

  • William Solomon (Born May 1735 – Clerkenwell)
  • Elisabeth Solomon (Born 9 March 1736/7 – Clerkenwell)Jane Solomon (Born 10 January 1739 – Clerkenwell)
  • Daniel Solomon (Born 31 December 1740 – Died in Infancy – Clerkenwell)
  • John Thomas Solomon (Born November 1743 – Holborn)
  • Daniel Solomon (17 May 1748 – St Sepulchre)

I can’t imagine that Daniel and his siblings had a very happy childhood, their mother was known to frequent the ale houses and was a heavy drinker and their father reputedly had a terrible temper, and was once quoted to “Act out the Devil”, he was guilty of domestic violence on many occasions although it went unpunished at least until 24th April 1754, when his temper went too far and he killed his wife. Daniel the elder was found guilty of manslaughter on the 24th April 1754, and was branded as punishment.

For further information see below.

The Death of Elizabeth Solomon, London 1754

It’s difficult to understand how children dealt with this death, or even if they knew!? I suspect that they did, because Daniel the younger began a process of changing his surname, over the years it went through a few stages – Solomon / Humstead / Humbert and lastly Hubbard. As a result, the family has been very difficult to research and I was at a brick wall for many years.

The Solomon Family had connections to London’s underworld, and were associated with some of 18th Century London’s most notorious criminals.

Marriage and Family

By the time Daniel Solomon reached his 18th year, both of his parents had passed away, his father died in July 1766 in Hound, Hampshire, England. Hampshire being an area connected to the family and their cousins.

Daniel married in Islington, London on the 16th February 1779 to a Rachel Hibbard. I suspect that her surname was Hubbard, and Hibbard being an early spelling mistake.

Daniel and Rachel moved around a little over the next few years, Cripplegate, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green and Woodford. They had three children.

  • Hannah Solomon (Born 22 August 1779 – Cripplegate)
  • George Hibbard ‘Hubbard’ Solomon (Born 12 June 1783 – Shoreditch)
  • Joseph Hibbard ‘Hubbard’ Solomon (Born 29 December 1785 – Woodford, Essex and baptised in Bethnal Green).

Joseph Solomon listed above is my 5th great-grandfather, he would continue to reside in Woodford, but he changed his surname to Hubbard.

Rachel Solomon (Nee; Hibbard) passed away sometime between 1785 – 1786, possibly through childbirth. I have been unable to locate her death possibly due to surname changes.

Daniel Solomon re-married very quickly on the 19th May 1789, his marriage was recorded to Elizabeth King in two separate parish church’s Bethnal Green and Southwark. He was recorded as being a Daniel Humstead.

The couple went onto have eight children, all born in Woodford, Essex

  • Sarah Humstead (Born September 1788)
  • Thomas Humstead (Born February 1790)
  • James Daniel Humbert (Born August 1791)
  • Louisa Humbert (Born January 1793)
  • Daniel Humstead (Born October 1793)
  • Charles Humbert (Born 1794)
  • Louisa Humbert (Born August 1795)
  • Godfrey Humbert (Born April 1798)


Later Life and Diamonds

17th and 18th Century Criminals, London’s Dark Underworld, Murder, Highwayman, Diamonds, aliases, Bondage and Slavery, (my 6x great-grandfather) Daniel Solomon / Hubbard / Hibbard / Humbert / Humstead whatever ever his true name may be had an interesting life, and an extraordinary family history. It is believed that his great-grandfather John Bennet, Highwayman of Bagshot, burglar of London and friend to criminals was of mixed race and the son of Scipio le Squire and a Black Maid, whatever the truth maybe Daniel Solomon Diamond Cutter and Merchant of London came from dark beginnings.

I have no idea if the Scipio le Squire connection is correct, this information has been passed to me from Surrey Records Office and needs further investigation.

Apparently, John Bennett was black (mixed race), he was born in Bagshot, Surrey. Bagshot being the location of an old Inn called ‘The Bush’, which employed Black Servants. The inn was owned by Scipio le Squire and another man currently known as ‘Mr Athill’, Hill is an alias used by John Bennet.

I intend to continue this story, once more evidence is discovered.





2 thoughts on “Daniel Solomon – Diamond Cutter and Merchant of London (born 1748)

  1. Magic …loved to hear how long ago people where cutting diamonds. It’s pretty challenging to cut diamonds even today…don’t know how they managed back in the day. Hats off to those great diamond cutters who went before us.

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