Gerald Isaacs, 2nd Marquess of Reading

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Lieutenant-Colonel The Most Honourable
The Marquess of Reading
Gerald Isaacs.jpg
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
Personal details
Born 10 December 1889
Died 19 September 1960(1960-09-19) (aged 70)
Spouse(s) Hon. Eva Violet Mond
Children Michael Alfred Rufus Isaacs, 3rd Marquess of Reading
Lady Joan Rufus Isaacs, Lady Elizabeth Rufus Isaacs
Parents Rufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading
Alice Edith Cohen

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 Liberal then Conservative politician.

Background and education[edit]

Gerald Rufus Isaacs 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, earning the Military Cross in the 1918 Birthday Honours[1] and reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. His book The South Sea Bubble which describes the famous speculative boom and crash of shares in 18th century England, was published in 1933.

Political career[edit]

Erleigh followed his father into Liberal politics. He stood as Liberal candidate for Blackburn at the 1929 General Election.[2] He 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 Honourable Eva Violet Mond in 1914, daughter of Alfred Moritz Mond, 1st Baron Melchett (1868–1930) and Violet Mond, Baroness Melchett (1867–1945). Eva Violet Mond's grandfather, Ludwig Mond (1839–1909), was a chemist and industrialist who created the Mond process to extract and purify nickel. He died in September 1960, aged 70, and was buried in the 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.


  1. ^ "No. 30716". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1918. p. 6465.
  2. ^ British parliamentary election results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
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