FOULD , family of French bankers and politicians. The Fould-Oppenheim banking house was founded by ber leon fould (1767–1855) and expanded by his eldest son benoÎt (Benedict; 1792–1858), who succeeded his father as manager. In 1827 he was made a judge of the commercial court and from 1834 to 1842 sat in the Chamber of Deputies as conservative member for St. Quentin. An expert on financial matters, Fould was active in Jewish communal affairs and spoke in parliament in connection with the *Damascus Affair, protesting against the fact that the French consul had permitted the use of torture. achille (1800–1867), second son of Ber Leon, shared the management of the bank with his brother Benoît, before entering public life as a member of the General Council of the Hautes Pyrénées. In 1842 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies where he supported the conservative financial policies of the chief minister, Francois Guizot. When Guizot went into exile following the outbreak of the 1848 revolution, Fould withdrew from politics and wrote three pamphlets attacking the new government's financial policies. In the following year, he retired from the banking house to devote himself to politics and was made minister of finance by Louis Napoleon. He was responsible for the reform of the postal service, the abolition of income tax, and the initiation of old-age pensions. Fould was twice dismissed and twice recalled to the government; in 1852 he was made a minister of state, and was the first Jew to be appointed a senator. In 1861 Fould was appointed minister of finance for the third time to check the rising national deficit and in 1863 he reduced the floating debt by negotiating a loan of 300,000,000 francs. He retired in 1867. Though he remained a Jew, Fould married into a Protestant family and his children were brought up as Christians. Two sons ernest adolphe (1824–1875) and edouard mathurin (1834–1881) both sat in the Chamber of Deputies, as did his grandson achille charles (1861–?). His third son gustave eugÈne (1836–1884) was a successful playwright and producer.
P. Emden, Money Powers of Europe (1938), index, includes bibliography.