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 1874-1876 he was Prime Minister and he was created Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876. He died on 19th 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.
Further reading for Isaac, Benjamin and Mary
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004
Hughenden Manor is owned by The National Trust.
© National Portrait Gallery, London [Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]
This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library
Image © 2023 Dean and Chapter of Westminster