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Jaffe Brothers & Merchants

Jaffe Brothers, linen and yarn merchants, was founded by Daniel J. Jaffe in 1845. In 1909 the company was acquired by A & S Henry and was fully incorporated as a subsidiary of A & S Henry in 1920.

Subscription value in 1863:


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Details and history

Name of company:

Jaffe Brothers & Merchants

Company address:

29 Cowgate
Dundee [1]

50 St Andrews Street
Dundee [2]

138 Seagate
Dundee [3]

134 Seagate
Dundee [4]

Number of employees:


Nature of business:

Linen and Yarn Merchants



Date ceased trading:

1909 acquired by A&S Henry & Company


Daniel Joseph Jaffe  founded Jaffe brothers, linen and yarn merchants, in 1845 in Dundee. [5] Originally from Hamburg he was born in Schwerin in 1809[6] and died in Nice in 1874[7][8]. He is buried in Belfast City cemetery[9]. There is a memorial fountain in Victoria Square, Belfast, commemorating Daniel J Jaffe for the important role he played in the development of the linen trade in Ulster and also as the benefactor of the first synagogue in Belfast.[10] This fountain and a further memorial on the Falls Road in Belfast were erected in 1874 by his son, Otto Jaffe,who was the first Jewish Lord Mayor of Belfast.[11] In his obituary Daniel is described as a man of “high integrity, indomitable zeal and perseverance“.

The company is listed as one of prominent Jewish Merchants, with the founders arriving in Dundee in the 1840s to establish their business, four decades before other Jewish communities in Scotland began to arrive from Eastern Europe.[12]

Jaffe Brothers had extensive interests worldwide in the trading of linen and other yarns with houses in Paris, New York, Hamburg, Leipzig and Belfast. [13]

Jaffe Brothers erected in the Seagate “a magnificent warehouse, with splendid counting-rooms and other conveniences for carrying on their extensive business[14]. The development of the new premises in the Seagate in 1863 resulted in an extensive article in the local press giving an in depth description of the building. The architect for the premises was Mr McLaren and the work was overseen by Mr J. H. Luis, the managing partner in Dundee. On the opening of the new premises clerks and upper employees were treated to a supper in the Royal Hotel, while those working in the packing house, and their families, were treated to supper in Lambs Hotel. [13]

The company was philanthropic in nature and donated over the years to charitable institutions within Dundee and beyond, for example, the Lochee Soup Kitchen[15],  the Indian Relief Fund[16] and the Dundee Royal Infirmary[17].



  1. Dundee Post Office Directory 1856-57 Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  2. Dundee Post Office Directory 1850 Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  3. Dundee Post Office Directory 1864-65 Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  4. Dundee Post Office Directory 1869-70 Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  5. Jaffe Brothers Co (Dundee) Ltd. Linen and Yarn Merchants. Archives Hub.
  6. 1819 Census Germany. Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
  7. Belfast Newsletter, 26 January 1874 (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1738-1925.
  8. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966. Accessed through
  9. UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current. Accessed through
  10. Mercer Walker, Brian and Dixon, Hugh (1984) In Belfast Town 1864-1880: Early Photographs from the Lawrence Collection. Friars Bush Press, Belfast.
  11. Louis Redmond (ed.) (1996) Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th Century Biography. Gill and Macmillan Dublin.
  12. Abrams, Nathan, (2012) 'Jute, Jam and Journalism, Jam and Jews:  The Anomalous Survival of the Dundee Hebrew Congregation'. Northern Scotland 3(1) pp. 86-97.
  13. Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser, 16 October 1863. British Newspaper Archive.
  14. Warden, Alex J., (1867) The Linen Trade Ancient and Modern.  Second Edition.  Longman, Green. Chapter 3, p. 269.
  15. Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser, 2 February 1858, p.2. British Newspaper Archive.
  16. Dundee Courier, 4 November 1857, p.1. British Newspaper Archive.
  17. Northern Courier, 25 January 1854, p.1.  British Newspaper Archive.


Thank you to Dr Kenneth Baxter, University of Dundee Dept of Archives, Dundee Central Library (Local History Dept), Louisa Attaheri and Anna Murrray of Verdant Works and Broughty Ferry librarians and all staff for assistance.

The information above about has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.