Baron Rothschild, Who Received Balfour Declaration, Dies at 69

LIONEL WALTER ROTHSCHILD, SECOND BARON ROTHSCHILD, DIED THIS MORNING AT HIS COUNTRY SEAT, TRING PARK, IN HERTFORDSHIRE, AFTER A LONG ILLNESS. HE WAS 69 YEARS OLD. BARON ROTHSCHILD NEVER MARRIED. HIS SUCCESSOR IN THE OLDEST TITLE OF ENGLISH NOBILITY HELD BY A JEWISH FAMILY IS HIS NEPHEW, NATHANIEL MAYER VICTOR ROTHSCHILD.

THOUGH THE BARON WAS THE TITULAR HEAD OF THE ENGLISH BRANCH OF THE POWERFUL ROTHSCHILD BANKING FAMILY, WHOSE IMPORTANCE DATES FROM THE EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, HIS INTEREST WAS PRIMARILY IN NATURE STUDY.

AS A YOUNG MAN HE WAS ACTIVE IN BRITISH POLITICS, HOLDING A SEAT IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS FOR ELEVEN YEARS, BUT IN 1910 HE RETIRED FROM PARLIAMENT. DESPITE HIS PREOCCUPATION IN LATER YEARS WITH SCIENTIFIC MATTERS, BARON ROTHSCHILD’S NAME IS LINKED WITH ONE POLITICAL EVENT OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE. IT WAS TO HIM, AS PRESIDENT OF THE ENGLISH ZIONIST FEDERATION, THAT THE LATE LORD BALFOUR, THEN BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER, ON NOV. 2, 1917, ADDRESSED A LETTER GUARANTEEING ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH NATIONAL HOME IN PALESTINE, THE DOCUMENT KNOWN TO THE WORLD AS THE BALFOUR DECLARATION.

HE WAS EDUCATED AT MAGDALENE COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, AND AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY. HE WAS AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS TREATIES ON BIOLOGY. BESIDES HIS ENGLISH PEERAGE, HE WAS A BARON OF THE FORMER AUSTRIAN EMPIRE.

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