Gerald Isaacs, 2nd Marquess of Reading

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Lieutenant-Colonel The Most Honourable
The Marquess of Reading
Joint Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Preceded by Selwyn Lloyd
Succeeded by Allan Noble
David Ormsby-Gore

Gerald Rufus Isaacs, 2nd Marquess of Reading GCMG, CBE, MC, TD, PC, QC (10 December 1889 – 19 September 1960), styled Viscount Erleigh from 1917 to 1935, was a British barrister and Conservative politician.

Background and education[edit]

Reading was the son of Rufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading, and Alice Edith Cohen. He was educated at Rugby School and Balliol College, Oxford. He served in the First World War, winning the MC and reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His book The South Sea Bubble describing the famous speculative boom and crash of shares in 18th century England was published in 1933.

Political career[edit]

Reading succeeded his father as second Marquess of Reading in 1935. When the Conservatives came to power in 1951 under Winston Churchill, he was appointed Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a post he held until 1953, when he was promoted to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and admitted to the Privy Council. He retained this position when Sir Anthony Eden became Prime Minister in 1955. However, Reading was not included in the administration formed by Harold Macmillan in January 1957 and never returned to ministerial office. Apart from his political career he was also a Bencher and Treasurer of the Middle Temple and an Honorary Colonel in the Inns of Court Regiment from 1947 to 1959.


Lord Reading married the Hon. Eva Violet Mond, daughter of Alfred Moritz Mond, 1st Baron Melchett, in 1914. He died in September 1960, aged 70, and was buried in Golders Green Jewish Cemetery.

He was succeeded in his titles by his son Michael. The Marchioness of Reading died in 1973.

In 1939, Lord Reading's daughter Lady Joan Rufus Isaacs married the scientist Solly Zuckerman, Baron Zuckerman, OM, KCB, FRS (1904–1993). She died in 2000.


Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Henderson
Ernest Davies
Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
with Anthony Nutting

Succeeded by
Anthony Nutting
Douglas Dodds-Parker
Preceded by
Selwyn Lloyd
Joint Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
with Selwyn Lloyd 1953–1954
Anthony Nutting 1954–1956
Allan Noble 1956–1957

Succeeded by
Allan Noble
Hon. David Ormsby-Gore
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Rufus Isaacs
Marquess of Reading
Succeeded by
Michael Alfred Rufus Isaacs