Edwin Samuel, 2nd Viscount Samuel

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Hadassa and Edwin Samuel in a family picture with Herbert Samuel

Edwin Herbert Samuel, 2nd Viscount Samuel CMG (Hebrew: אדווין הרברט סמואל‎; 11 September 1898 – 14 November 1978), was the son of Beatrice Franklin and Herbert Samuel, and the father of Professor David Samuel and Dan Judah Samuel, 4th Viscount Samuel. He served in the Jewish Legion.[1] He also served as the last Mandate-era Director of the Palestine Broadcasting Service.

He was educated at Westminster School and Balliol College, Oxford. In the spring of 1917 he joined the Royal Artillery and was posted to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. After the First World War he joined the Mandatory Government in Palestine.[2]

As a Viscount, he served as a peer in the House of Lords. There, one of his significant acts was to have the law that forbade marriage between a woman and her brother-in-law repealed. His explicit intent was to allow a man to fulfil his responsibility under the biblical Judaic law of Levirate marriage, as described in the Book of Deuteronomy, whereby the brother of a man who dies childless must marry the widow.

Lord Samuel was the initiator of the Knesset Menorah project which eventually led to the huge bronze candalabrum presented by the British parliament to the State of Israel in 1956 (see entry "Knesset Menorah")

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Herbert Samuel
Viscount Samuel
Succeeded by
David Samuel


  1. ^ Isseroff, Ami (2005). "Zionism and Israel - Encyclopedic Dictionary: Jewish Legion (Hagdud Ha'ivri, Gdud Ha'ivri) Definition". The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Edwin Samuel, A Lifetime in Jerusalem, 1970, Jacket blurb, and p.28

Further reading[edit]

  • Edwin Samuel: A Lifetime in Jerusalem. The Memoirs of the Second Viscount Samuel (Transaction Publishers, 1970).