Charles Lionel Reis (1849 – 1927)

Charles Lionel Reis was born on 7 July 1849, at 5 Chatsworth Street, Liverpool, the eldest son of Jonas and Marian (Samuel) Reis. He married his first cousin Elizabeth Woodburn on 3 January 1872 at Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation, Liverpool. Elizabeth was born in 1853 in Liverpool and she died on 21 April 1915 while at 8 Lynedoch Place, Glasgow. She was the daughter of Hannah (Samuel) and Samuel Woodburn. Hannah was the sister of Marian Samuel (Charles’s mother).

Charles then married Christina Macnab MacKay on 21 June 1916 in Glasgow. Charles died on 5 July 1927 at 15 Park Circus, Glasgow. Christina had nursed Elizabeth Reis during her final illness. Christina died on 8 June 1963 also at 15 Park Circus.

Charles Reis’s death notice in The Times Christina Reis’s death notice in The Times

Charles and Elizabeth belong to Reis Generation Two; their children belong to Reis Generation Three and are:

  1. Maud Beatrice
  2. Henry Vincent
  3. Percy Harcourt
  4. Violet Ida
  5. Claire Itala
  6. Vera Dagmar
  7. Gladys Eileen
  8. Eric Melville


  • Charles’s birth certificate can be viewed HERE (<— in PDF).
  • He moved in the 1870’s to Ireland and sometime in 1890 he left for Scotland. His family appears on the Census for Scotland 1891 & the Census for 1901 (both in PDF). However he continued to maintain shops in Dublin and Belfast.
  • His marriage certificate to his first wife, Elizabeth Woodburn, can be viewed HERE (<— in PDF). His marriage certificate to his second wife, Christina MacKay, can be viewed HERE (<— PDF).
  • Charles’s death certificate can be viewed HERE in PDF.
  • Newspaper article dated 24 August 1882 of claim by Reis against another business can be read HERE (<—PDF)
  • A newspaper story dated 16 December1895 about a robbery at Charles’ Birmingham shop can be read here (<— two pages in .pdf).
  • A newspaper article describing a robbery on 14 January 1914 at Glasgow of Reis’s shop can be read HERE (<— PDF)
  • A Daily Mail notice that CLR had been fined for placing false labels on watches dated 8 February 1916 can be read HERE (<— PDF)
  • A newspaper article describing a robbery of Reis’s store at Glasgow dated 8 February 1916 can be read HERE (<— PDF).
Charles L Reis New Premises2

Between the birth of Percy Harcourt in 1875 and Violet Ida in 1879 there was the birth of a son which was announced in the Jewish Chronicle as follows: ‘Birth 29.4.1878 at 1 Ailesbury Road Merrion Co. Dublin a son, who survived his birth a few hours.’ 

Charles L Reis Grafton Street Ad2

He gives as his address 15 Park Circus, Glasgow on his 2nd marriage certificate and it appears also on his death certificate. On the probate of Philip Schoeppler (second husband of CLR’s mother Marian Samuel) it states that Charles is an executor and gives his address as 49 Jamaica Street, Glasgow which maybe where his jewelry shop was located. Some articles appeared in the Times about CLR’s shop in Glasgow.

Since this page was originally placed on the web various pieces of information have been emailed by people who have found this web page, for instance one message reads in part: “I have been researching a piece of jewelry that I have that is in it’s original box. The writing on the inside of the box says C. L. Reis & Co. 24 New Street, Birmingham. “

Another email says: “I notice that in the history of Charles L. Reis, his address was given as 49 Jamaica Street, which was also thought to be that of his shop. I have recently acquired a pewter finished glass hip flask which has the following stamped on the base :- C. L. Reis & co. 284 Jamaica St. Glasgow. “


Charles Reis Ad Dec 18 1893 Freeman's Journal

In the early 1880’s a trial for murder took place in Dublin. The accused was Francis Hynes and he was found guilty and hanged. A major political storm followed because of allegations of jury misconduct immediately prior to the sentencing.

The main complaint was leveled against one of the jurors, Charles Reis, whose behavior was said to have jeopardized the proper conduct of the case. There are two sources for the case of Hynes and the misconduct of the jurors. The first comes from articles taken from the London Times and which can be read HERE in PDF (117 pages) and the second from a House of Commons inquiry held in 1882 which describes in detail how Charles behaved. This can be read HERE in PDF (52 pages). Although this case is now forgotten it almost brought Gladstone’s government down and a major impetus towards ending British rule in the south of Ireland.

Reis’s shop on Lower Sackville Street in Dublin was below the Irish School of Wireless and on the 2nd day of the 1916 Easter Rising, volunteers from the General Post Office took over the wireless school above Reis and made a morse code message of the proclamation of the Irish Republic. Within days Reis’s shop and all properties about were destroyed in shell blasts and fire. Also, during the uprising, Reis’s warehouse was set on fire, burnt, and collapsed. For details, see the original web site here.

Below CLR’s shop in Glasgow which is now a Pizza Hut.

Charles Lionel Reis's shop in Glasgow
Charles Lionel Reis’s shop in Glasgow

Below left is a silver tea kettle on a stand that holds a burner manufactured by Charles L. Reis in 1860. This item is held by the Victorian and Albert Museum in London. Below, a clock in which there is a metal identification tag with the name “Chas L. Reis & Co – Glasgow”. This does not refer to the manufacturer of the clock as CLR did not make clocks but only to the fact that CLR must have been the seller.

The clock shown above is a typical Vienna 2 weight design and measures 49 inches tall and approximately 18 inches wide. It strikes on the hour and on the half on a coil gong. It has an exceptionally nice porcelain dial with a seconds bit. The clock movement also has maintaining power, which means the escapement is kept under power so it won’t stop or lose time during the weekly wind up. The ivory Reis label is rare on a clock. These Reis clocks were imported into the United Staes and then labeled under the Reis name. It is probably dated around the late 1800’s.

Below Lionel’s obit from the Aberdeen Journal:

Aberdeen Journal 7 July 1927
Aberdeen Journal 7 July 1927

Mr. Charles L. Reis.
A well-known Glasgow business man, Mr. Charles Lionel Reis, died at his residence, 15 Park Circus, on Tuesday night. Mr. Reis, who was a cousin of the late Lord Swaythling, was born at Liverpool. He was educated at the High School there and also in Paris and Mayence [Mainz]. In 1869 he entered his father’s business in Liverpool that of a banker and bullion merchant, but three years later, at a remarkably early age, began business on his own account in London as a jeweller and fancy goods merchant. The business spread rapidly, and branches were opened in various parts of the country. Mr. Reis was a proficient linguist, and was prominent in Freemason circles.



The death occurred on Tuesday at 15, Park Circus, Glasgow, of Mr. Charles Lionel Reis, who for many years carried on business as jeweller and silversmith at the corner of Argyle and Jamaica Street. Mr. Reis, who was born in Liverpool, was educated at the High School there, and also at Paris and Mayence. He entered his father’s banking business in Liverpool in 1869, and when still a young man he started business on his own behalf as a jeweller and fancy goods merchant in London. Later he extended his business to Brighton, Portsmouth, Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow and Paris. He occupied the premises at the corner of Argyle Street and Jamaica Street, Glasgow, for a period of 45 years.

Source: The Glasgow Herald – 7th July 1927

[To return to Reis Family Introduction and  a list of the entire Reis family click here]

The photographs below were taken in 2005 and show Charles’s house at 15 Park Circus, Glasgow. The house is the second one from the left with a black door …