Henry de Worms, 1st Baron Pirbright

The Right Honourable
The Lord Pirbright
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
20 February 1888  1892
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by The Earl of Onslow
Succeeded by Sydney Buxton
Personal details
Born (1840-10-26)26 October 1840
Died 9 January 1903(1903-01-09) (aged 62)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) (1) Fanny von Todesco
(2) Sarah Phillips (died 1914)
Alma mater King's College London

Henry de Worms, 1st Baron Pirbright PC, DL, JP, FRS (20 October 1840 9 January 1903), known before his elevation to the peerage in 1895 as Baron Henry de Worms, was a British Conservative politician.

Background and education

Henry de Worms was born on 20 October 1840. His father, Solomon Benedict de Worms (1801–1882), owned large plantations in Ceylon and was made a Hereditary Baron of the Austrian Empire by Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830–1916). His mother was Henrietta Samuel. His siblings were Anthony Mayer de Worms (1830–1864), Ellen Henrietta de Worms (born 1836), and George de Worms, 2nd Baron de Worms (1829–1902).

His paternal grandmother was Schönche Jeannette Rothschild (1771–1859), thus his paternal great-grandfather was Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744–1812), the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty. As a result, his paternal great-granduncles were Amschel Mayer Rothschild (1773–1855), Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (1774–1855), Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777–1836), Carl Mayer von Rothschild (1788–1855), and James Mayer de Rothschild (1792–1868). His uncles, who owned plantations in Ceylon with his father, were Maurice Benedict de Worms (1805–1867) and Gabriel Benedict de Worms (1802–1881).[1]

He was educated at King's College London.[2] He was called to the Bar, Inner Temple, in 1863, and became a fellow of King's College in the same year.[2]

Political career

de Worms served as Conservative Member of Parliament for Greenwich from 1880 to 1885 and for Liverpool East Toxteth from 1885 to 1895 and held office under Lord Salisbury as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade from 1886 to 1888 and as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1888 to 1892. He was also the British Plenipotentiary and President of the Conference on Sugar Bounties in 1888,[3] and later served as a Commissioner for the Patriotic Fund.[4] He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1888 and raised to the peerage as Baron Pirbright, of Pirbright in the County of Surrey, in 1895.[5] He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1889.

His publications include England's Policy in the East, The Earth and its Mechanism, The Austro-Hungarian Empire and Memoirs of Count Beust.[2][4]

Lord Pirbright died in January 1903, aged 62.


Lord Pirbright's tomb at St Mark's Church, Wyke, Surrey

In 1864, Lord Pirbright married Franziska ("Fanny", 1846–1922), eldest daughter of Baron von Todesco. They had three daughters:

In 1887. he married Sarah, daughter of Sir Benjamin Samuel Phillips. They had one daughter.

Born Jewish, he was an active member of the Jewish community until he married a Christian woman. He then dissociated himself entirely from Judaism, and was buried at the Christian cemetery of St. Mark's in Wyke, Surrey.[1]

The barony became extinct on his death as he had no sons. His second wife died in November 1914.


  1. 1 2  Epstein, Mortimer (1912). "De Worms, Henry". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. 1 2 3 Henry Samuel Morais (1880). Eminent Israelites of the nineteenth century: A series of biographical sketches. Philadelphia: Edward Stern & Co. pp. 357360. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 25853. p. 4851. 6 September 1888.
  4. 1 2 Joseph Jacobs; Victor Rousseau Emanuel (1901–1906). "PIRBRIGHT, HENRY DE WORMS, BAR-ON". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 26680. p. 6182. 15 November 1895.
  6. Prince Rupert Loewenstein, "A Prince among Stones", Bloomsbury, London 2013, p.253
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Boord
William Ewart Gladstone
Member of Parliament for Greenwich
1880 – 1885
With: Thomas Boord
Succeeded by
Thomas Boord
New constituency Member of Parliament for Liverpool East Toxteth
1885 – 1895
Succeeded by
Augustus Frederick Warr
Political offices
Preceded by
John Holms
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade
1885 1888
Succeeded by
The Earl of Onslow
Preceded by
The Earl of Onslow
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
1888 1892
Succeeded by
Sydney Buxton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Pirbright
1895 – 1903
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