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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Rufus Daniel Isaacs Reading

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"RUFUS DANIEL ISAACS READING, 1ST Earl Of (1860-), British lawyer and statesman, was born in London Oct. 10 1860, of a Jewish family. He was educated at University College school, and later at Brussels and Hanover, and after a brief experience of the London Stock Exchange he was called to the bar in 1887. He speedily earned the reputation of a brilliant lawyer, and in 1898 became a Q.C. In 1904 he entered the House of Commons as Liberal member for Reading, and in 1910 was made solicitor-general and knighted. The same year he became attorney-general, and in June 1912 was given a seat in the Cabinet - the first attorney-general to be so distinguished. In Oct. 1912, Sir Rufus Isaacs's name came under unfavourable discussion during the course of the enquiry into the Marconi contracts, but on the retirement of Lord Alverstone in 1913 he was appointed Lord Chief Justice of England. On the outbreak of the World War his advice on financial questions was of great value to the Government, and he was responsible for some of the most important measures immediately taken by the Treasury in connexion with the situation in the " City." Both at this time and later, his services in the sphere of national finance were, indeed, invaluable. In 1915 he went to the U.S.A. as head of the Anglo-French loan mission, earning golden opinions. He was raised to the peerage as Viscount Reading in 1916, and in 1917 again went as special envoy to America. On his return he was created Earl of Reading, and in 1917, on the retirement of Sir Cecil Spring-Rice, owing to ill-health, went to Washington for a brief period as high commissioner and special ambassador. At the beginning of 1921 he was appointed Viceroy of India in succession to Lord Chelmsford, and resigned the lord chief justiceship. Lord Reading married, in 1887, Alice, daughter of Albert Cohen. His only child, Gerald Rufus Isaacs, Viscount Erleigh (b. 1889), married in 1914 the daughter of Sir Alfred Mond.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Rufus Daniel Isaacs Reading'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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