Skip to main content

Bearsted, Marcus Samuel, First Viscount

BEARSTED, MARCUS SAMUEL, FIRST VISCOUNT

BEARSTED, MARCUS SAMUEL, FIRST VISCOUNT (1853–1927), founder of the Shell Oil Company. Marcus Samuel was educated at Jewish schools in London and Brussels before joining the firm established by his father Marcus Samuel, who had prospered in the Far Eastern trade, principally from selling fancy shells and ornamental shell boxes. In 1878, the younger Marcus Samuel formed his own business partnership with his brother Sam (1855–1934), who later sat as a member of parliament for 20 years. Marcus Samuel successfully traded in the Orient, particularly Japan. Subsequently he became London banker to the Japanese government. Samuel entered the oil trade in 1892, built a fleet of tankers, and founded the Shell Transport and Trading Company in 1897. His neglect of his business during his year as lord mayor (1902–03) resulted in Shell's amalgamation with the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company on what seemed disadvantageous terms, but he proved indispensable to the new organization. This move served Britain well in World War i. Another momentous war service was the supply of toluol, an essential ingredient in explosives. Marcus Samuel made generous donations to both Jewish and non-Jewish charities. The Bearsted Memorial Hospital, a maternity hospital in London, bears his name and was financed by him. Samuel was lord mayor of London in 1902–03, the fifth Jew to hold this office. In 1921, he was made baron, and in 1925, Viscount Bearsted. Although holding no important Jewish communal offices, Samuel used his influence to help persecuted Jews. While lord mayor of London he refused, in the face of opposition, to invite the Romanian ambassador to the lord mayor's banquet as a protest against Romania's treatment of its Jewish citizens. His brother Samuel Samuel was the founder of M. Samuel, a prominent City of London merchant bank.

His son walter horace samuel, second viscount bearsted (1882–1948) succeeded his father as chairman of Shell in 1920. A notable art collector, he was chairman of the trustees of the National Gallery in London. He also held various Jewish communal offices. The third viscount marcus richard samuel (1909–86) was chairman of the Bearsted Memorial Hospital and president of the Jewish Home and Hospital.

bibliography:

R. Henriques, Marcus Samuel, First Viscount Bearstead… (1960); Times (Nov. 10, 1948); jc (Jan. 21, 1927 and Nov. 12, 1948). add. bibliography: odnb online; dbb, V, 43–46.

[Vivian David Lipman]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bearsted, Marcus Samuel, First Viscount." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bearsted, Marcus Samuel, First Viscount." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 18, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bearsted-marcus-samuel-first-viscount

"Bearsted, Marcus Samuel, First Viscount." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved November 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bearsted-marcus-samuel-first-viscount

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.