WALEY , family of English Jews, active in various branches of public and intellectual life. The Waley family traces its descent from Benjamin Levi (d. 1784), an engraver from Wiesbaden who settled in Portsmouth in 1740. His son Jacob (d. 1817) married elizabeth waley, and their son solomon jacob (d. 1864), a successful stockbroker, adopted his mother's original family name in 1834. jacob waley (1818–1873), eldest son of Solomon Jacob, was educated at London University and was among the first Jews called to the English bar. He achieved an eminent position as a lawyer and, in addition, was professor of political economy at University College, London, 1853–66. He was an active member of the Jewish community, being a founder of the United Synagogue, first president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, and president of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum. His brother, simon waley (1827–1875), was prominent as a stockbroker, but was also a talented musician. He composed for both piano and orchestra and wrote some pieces for the synagogue. His son alfred joseph waley (1861–1953), a leading member of the London Stock Exchange, was treasurer of the Royal Academy of Music (1924–46) and chairman of its committee of management from 1946. Jacob's daughter julia matilda (1854–1917) married Nathaniel Louis Cohen (1846–1913) and was mother of Sir Robert Waley *Cohen. She was president of the Union of Jewish Women and active in many other public bodies, and she wrote devotional literature for Jewish children. A sister, rachael sophia waley, married David Frederick Schloss (1850–1912), a prominent Fabian who wrote studies of the London poor; after the outbreak of World War i their sons assumed their mother's family name. sir (sigismund) david waley (1887–1962), who was educated at Rugby and Oxford, spent his working life in the British Treasury, where he became one of its highest officials. Seriously wounded in World War i, he became an expert in external finance; after World War ii he was attached to the European Recovery Department of the Foreign Office and during 1951–52 represented the United Kingdom on the Commission on German Debts. He was knighted in 1943. His brother Arthur *Waley was a poet and translator of Chinese and Japanese literature.
jc (June 27 and July 4, 1873; Jan. 7 and 21, 1876); dnb, s.v.Waley Jacob, Waley Simon; The Times (Jan. 5, 1962); R. Henriques, Sir Robert Waley Cohen (1966); Ḥ. Bermant, Troubled Eden (1969), index. add. bibliography: odnb online.
[Sefton D. Temkin]