History

Benjamin Disraeli

History

In the north transept of Westminster Abbey is an over-life size white marble statue of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, Victorian Prime Minister. The statue is by sculptor Sir J.Edgar Boehm and the statue was installed in 1884. The inscription reads:

"Erected by Parliament to Benjamin Disraeli Earl of Beaconsfield, K.G. twice Prime Minister. Born 1804. Died 1881".

The statue stands next to one to Gladstone, his great rival. Benjamin was the eldest son of Isaac D'Israeli (1766-1848), a writer, who was descended from a Jewish family who had settled in Italy, and his wife Maria Bacevi. He wrote his first story when he was fifteen years old and published many novels during his lifetime, but they were critically dismissed by writers such as Wordsworth and Anthony Trollope. He travelled widely and in the 1830s began his political career. In 1839 he married widow Mary Anne Lewis. He rose to be leader of the House of Commons and chancellor of the exchequer. In 1868 and 1874-6 he was Prime Minister and he was created Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876. He died on 19 April 1881 and was buried in the church near his manor at Hughenden in Buckinghamshire. Queen Victoria, as a mark of her esteem, erected a memorial to him in the church there.

A photo of the statue can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading for Isaac, Benjamin and Mary:

Oxford Dictionary of Naitonal Biography 2004.

Hughenden Manor is owned by The National Trust.