Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel GCB OM GBE PC (6 November 1870 – 5 February 1963), was a British Liberal politician who was the party leader from 1931-35. He was the first nominally practising Jew to serve as a Cabinet minister and to become the leader of a major British political party (although he was noted for his personal atheism), and the last member of the Liberal Party to hold one of the four Great Offices of State. He also served as a diplomat.
One of the adherents of “New Liberalism,” Samuel helped to draft and present social reform legislation while serving as a Liberal cabinet member.
Herbert Samuel was born at Claremont No. 11 Belvidere Road, Toxteth, Liverpool, Lancashire, in 1870. The building now houses part of the Belvedere Academy. He was the brother of Sir Stuart Samuel. He was educated at University College School in Hampstead, London and Balliol College, Oxford. He had a religious Jewish upbringing but in 1892 while at Oxford he renounced all religious belief, and wrote to his Jewish mother to inform her. He had been influenced by the work of Charles Darwin and the book On Compromise by senior Liberal politician John Morley. However, he remained a member of the Jewish community to please his wife, and kept kosher and the Sabbath "for hygienic reasons."..
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