Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli, photographed by Cornelius Jabez Hughes at Osborne by Command of H.M. The Queen, on 22 July, 1878; Glossy collodion print on card, Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum, Historical Photographs and Special Visual Collections Department, Fine Arts Library

Date of Birth: 21 December, 1804

Place of Birth: Bloomsbury, Middlesex, England

Date of Death: 19 April, 1881

Place of Death: Mayfair, London, England, U.K.

Ethnicity: Sephardi Jewish

Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, was a British statesman, politician, writer. A member of the Conservative Party, he served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 27 February, 1868 to 1 December, 1868, and again, from 20 February, 1874 to 21 April, 1880. He was also Chancellor of the Exchequer, from 27 February, 1852 to 17 December, 1852, again, from 26 February, 1858 to 11 June, 1859, and again, from 6 July, 1866 to 29 February, 1868; and Leader of the Opposition, from 1 December, 1868 to 17 February, 1874, and again, from 21 April, 1880 to 19 April, 1881.

Prime Minister Disraeli was the son of Maria (Basevi), born in Bloomsbury, London, and Isaac D’Israeli, born in Enfield, Middlesex, who was a literary critic, historian, and man of letters. His parents were Sephardi Jews, and the children of Italian Jewish immigrants. In 1817, when Benjamin was twelve, his father had his children baptized into the Church of England, although Benjamin continued to refer to himself as Jewish throughout his adult life.

Prime Minister Disraeli was married to peeress and society figure Mary Anne (Evans) Disraeli, until her death.

Prime Minister Disraeli’s paternal grandfather was Benjamin D’Israeli (the son of Isaac Israeli/D’Israeli and Enrichetta/Rica De/Dei Rossi). Benjamin, a merchant and financier, was born in Cento or Ferrara, Italy. Isaac was possibly born in Turkey.

Prime Minister Disraeli’s paternal grandmother was named Sarah Shiprut/Syprut/Siprut de Gabay Villareal/Villa Real/de Real (the daughter of Isaac Shiprut/Syprut/Siprut de Gabay Villareal/Villa Real and Esther). Sarah was born in Leghorn, Italy. Esther was possibly born in Bloomsbury, England.

Prime Minister Disraeli’s maternal grandfather was Naphtali/Nathan Basevi Cervetto (the son of Salomone/Solomon Basevi Cervetto and Ricca/Rica Levi). Naphtali/Nathan was born in Verona, Italy. Salomone was the son of Giuseppe Basevi “Joseph” Cervetto and Rachel Asson.

Prime Minister Disraeli’s maternal grandmother was Ricca/Rebecca Rieti (the daughter of Abraham Vita Rieti and Sarah Cardoso). Ricca was born in Mantua, Italy, or in England. Sarah was the daughter of Jacob di David Aboab Cardoso and Hanna Di Baruh.

Prime Minister Disraeli was the first person of Jewish heritage to serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The other U.K. Prime Ministers of documented Jewish ancestry are David Cameron, who served for the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2016, and Boris Johnson, who served for the Conservative Party, from 2019 to 2022. Cameron is of three thirty twos Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, and Johnson’s great-grandfather was Ashkenazi Jewish. James Callaghan, who served for the Labour Party from April 1976 to May 1979, possibly had a Jewish paternal grandmother or great-grandfather, although it is not clear if this has been verified. Disraeli is the only U.K. Prime Minister who was Jewish by religion; although not while in office, during his childhood.

Sources: Genealogies of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli –

1 Response

  1. michaelthompson says:

    Disraeli was of Italian-Jewish descent, the eldest son and second child of Isaac D’Israeli and Maria Basevi.

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