Queen Victoria’s courier, Joseph Julius Kanne

Queen Victoria arrived in Berlin early in the morning on 24th Apr 1888 to visit her daughter. Soon after she heard the news that:
“Poor good Kanne, who had a relapse a week ago after having recovered wonderfully from the first attack in March had become much worse and was in great danger” an hour later the Queen was advised of his death at his private residence in Dover Street, London. She wrote “for thirty years he had attended me on all my journeys, making all the arrangements in a most admirable manner. He used to think of every little thing for my pleasure and comfort and had a wonderful power of organisation. I can hardly realise that he is gone and he will be such a loss. All my children and people are so grieved”.

Joseph Julius Kanne, the Queen’s invaluable courier, director of her continental journeys was the son of Josephine Loewenfeld and Leopold Kann.

An article by Paul H Emden in the Jewish Chronicle 3 Oct 1947 tells that Josephine was the daughter of Moses Loewenfeld of Schoenwald who owned a distillery there. While Leopold’s family were originally from Frankfort a Main, a wealthy and influential family.

Josephine and Leopold lived in Pilsen, after Leopold’s death Josephine moved to Prague. She died in 1874 and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery there.

Joseph J Kanne was born about 1818 in Austria, he took British naturalisation in 1864 having seen active service in the Crimean War and had been present at the siege of Sebastopol.

He was buried at the Brompton Road Cemetery, although Jewish by birth he was not buried at the Jewish cemetery.

His epitaph reads: This stone was erected by the Queen and the Prince of Wales to mark their appreciation of the long and valued services of Joseph Julius Kanne. In memory of Joseph Julius Kanne, for nearly 40 years one of Her Majesty’s most devoted servants. Died 24 April 1888 aged 70 years.

The London Gazette reported on 26 Jun 1888 that probate was granted on 13 June to Achille Vintras of Hanover Square, Doctor of Medicine. Dr Vintras was the founder of the French Hospital in London.

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