Henry Solomon

David Rowland
Lili Loofbourow
The lamplighter
English Lamp Post Company

Born in 1794 in Brighton.

He comes to notice as a jeweller and watch maker in Lewes but became bored with that and moved to Brighton in 1821 and took a job with the Brighton Commissioners (known now as Brighton and hove City Council)

In 1822 he took on the job as ‘Post Horse Inspector.’ And was paid £25 per annum,

May 1823 as Superintendent of Hackney Carriages. This was for just for a 6 month period. It was then made permanent and his salary was increased.

His next job was as a Bathing machine inspector. He also looked after the pleasure boats. 

He was very competent in his work and became well liked.

In September 1826 he was given a further job, as an Inspector of watering roads. (Roads watered twice a day in summer.)

Come November he was given a further job, this time as Superintendent of nuisances. For these two further jobs his salary was increased by £25

In 1827 all the Brighton street lamps were changed from oil to gas (Guess who got the job of ‘Inspector of Gas Lights?’)

Yes, Henry did, and for that he was paid a further £10 per annum.

Local Police

Around this time the local police were being re-organised and the current chief officer was William Pilbeam. He suffered poor health and was often away from his duties.

So Henry Solomon was brought in as a chief officer and they both ran the police force.

Eventually Pilbeam left through his ill health and the name of chief officer was changed to Henry Solomon.

Somehow he is known as Brighton’s first Chief Officer, although of course he wasn’t.

His salary was then greatly increased and as far as we can tell his salary was about £200 pa plus another £80 for various expenses.


He lived with his wife and children in Palace Place.

He was appointed as a trustee of the Synagogue in Devonshire Place in 1825 and later when it was enlarged in 1836 he became an elder. He was a great follower of his faith.

Died at 10.15am on 14th March 1844 as a result of Murder.

(Struck on head with a poker around 8.30pm on 13th March)


Funeral took place at 3pm on Friday 15th March 1844 in the Jewish Cemetery.

(Around 10,000 people lined the route.)


Researched and Written by David Rowland