Alfred Mond, 1st Baron Melchett

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Sir Alfred Moritz Mond

Birthplace: Farnworth, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Death: December 27, 1930 (62)
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Ludwig Mond and Frida Mond
Husband of Violet Florence, Baroness Melchett
Father of 2nd Baron Melchett Henry Ludwig Mond; Eva Violet, Marchioness of Reading, CBE; Henry Mond, 2nd Baron Melchett; Mary Angela Pearson and Rosalind Jean Norah Northen
Brother of Sir Robert Mond

Occupation: 1st. Baron Melchett of Lanford
Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:

About Alfred Mond, 1st Baron Melchett,_1st_Baron_Melchett

Alfred Moritz Mond, 1st Baron Melchett PC, FRS (23 October 1868–27 December 1930), known as Sir Alfred Mond, Bt, between 1910 and 1928, was a British industrialist, financier and politician. In his later life he became an active Zionist.

Early life and education

Mond was born in Farnworth, Widnes, Lancashire, England, the younger son of Ludwig Mond, a chemist and industrialist of Jewish extraction who had emigrated from Germany, and his wife Frieda, née Löwenthal. He was educated at Cheltenham College and St. John's College, Cambridge, but failed his natural sciences tripos. He then studied law at Edinburgh University and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1894.

Business career

Following this he joined his father's business, Brunner Mond & Company as director, later becoming its managing director. He was also managing director of his father's other company the Mond Nickel Company. Other directorships included those of the International Nickel Corporation of Canada, the Westminster Bank and the Industrial Finance Investment Corporation. His major business achievement was in 1926 working to create the merger of four separate companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) one of the world's largest industrial corporations at the time. He became its first chairman.

Political career

Mond was also involved in politics and sat as Liberal Member of Parliament for Chester from 1906 to 1910, for Swansea from 1910 to 1918 and for Swansea West from 1918 to 1923. He served in the coalition government of David Lloyd George as First Commissioner of Works from 1916 to 1921 and as Minister of Health (with a seat in the cabinet) from 1921 to 1922. He later switched party and represented Carmarthen from 1924 to 1928, initially as a Liberal. However, in 1926 Mond became a Conservative, after falling out with Lloyd George over the former Prime Minister's controversial plans to nationalise agricultural land.

Mond was created a Baronet, of Hartford Hill in Great Budworth in the County of Chester, in 1910, and was admitted to the Privy Council in 1913. In 1928 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Melchett, of Landford in the County of Southampton.

Benefactions, Zionism and honours

Mond's father had bequeathed a collection of old master paintings to the National Gallery and Alfred provided housing for them in 1924. In 1929 he provided land in Chelsea for the Chelsea Health Society.

He first visited Palestine in 1921 with Chaim Weizmann and subsequently became an enthusiastic Zionist, contributing money to the Jewish Colonization Corporation for Palestine and writing for Zionist publications. He became President of the British Zionist Foundation and made financial contributions to Zionist causes. He was the first President of the Technion in 1925. Melchett founded the town of Tel Mond, now in Israel.

Mond was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1928 and received a number of honorary degrees from Oxford, Paris and other universities.

Personal life

In 1894 Mond married Violet Goetze and they had one son, Henry Ludwig, and three daughters. Mond died in his London home in 1930, and his son succeeded in the barony.


Industry and Politics (1927)
Imperial Economic Unity (1930)

Literary references

Mond is mentioned in T. S. Eliot's 1920 poem A Cooking Egg.

He is also widely considered to be the inspiration behind Mustapha Mond, one of the ten world controllers in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

Other References

See also:

Obituary from Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

All World Jewry Mourns Death of Lord Melchett, Great Jewish, British Mind

December 29, 1930

Three worlds joined today in mourning Lord Melchett, whose death on Saturday came as a distinct shock, though he was an old man and had been ill of phlebitis for some time. The world of Jews knew him as one of the leaders in their concerted effort to establish the Jewish National Home in Palestine, the chairman of the Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine; the world of industry knew him as the head of a $500,000,000 chemical corporation, reputed to be the richest man in England, and the wisest of modern industrialists; the world of art knew him as a great collector, and as a patron of living artists and writers.

Lord Melchett was 62 years old when he died. He became ill last October, immediately after his return from the United States, but his illness was not regarded as serious until early last week.

He was, until shortly before his death, president of the English Zionist Federation. Upon the death of Louis Marshall, Lord Melchett was chosen as chairman of the Council of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. He resigned this post when Dr. Chaim Weizmann resigned as president of the Jewish Agency in protest at the Passfield White Paper on Palestine.

Lord Melchett was not merely a Zionist of word, but of strong deed. He was chairman of the Non-Partisan Survey Commission for Palestine, and sought to establish definite constructive plans for the development of the country. He took part in the organization of various Palestinian industries, being on the board of the Palestine Electric Corporation, and taking part, through the Economic Board for Palestine, in many other commercial ventures. Tel Mond, a new settlement in the orange-growing district of Palestine, was his latest venture.


Lord Melchett, or Alfred Mond, was born in 1868, the son of Dr. Ludwig Mond, world-renowned chemist, who founded the family fortunes when he discovered a new way of making and bottling soda water. Dr. Ludwig Mond came from Germany to England, and started his factory there in partnership with John Brunner. Later they extended their industry, pioneering in heavy chemical production.

Alfred Mond was educated at Cheltenham College, St. John’s College, Cambridge, and at Edinburgh University. He was called to the Bar, but forsook the practice of law to continue the development of his father’s enterprises.

As a chemist and metallurgist he received honorary medals and degrees from many universities, including the Sorbonne of Paris, the Gold Medal of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, and Fellowship of the Royal Society.

In politics, he began in 1906 as a Liberal member of the House of Commons. Subsequently he accepted the office of Minister of Health in 1921. Later he retired from politics. By popular vote conducted by the Spectator, he was seventh in the poll for “The Best Brains of England.”

He is regarded as the man who saved England after the War, by the promulgation of a wise industrialist policy, solving the labor situation. He repeatedly decried all emphasis on distinctions as between the working class and any other class, urging cooperation for the efficient development of mankind’s resources.


After leaving politics, he organized the Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd., regarded as one of the greatest trusts in the world. He was chairman of the International Nickel Company of Canada, of the Finance Company of Great Britain and America, and the former of the Amalgamated Anthracite Collieries, Ltd., which controls over 80 per cent of the anthracite output of South Wales.

He was elevated to the peerage a few years ago, becoming the third Jew in the House of Lords.

His son Henry will succeed him to the title. Of his two daughters, one is married to Viscount Erleugh, who was one of the counsel for the Jews before the Inquiry Commission in Palestine in 1929 and who is the eldest son and heir of the Earl of Reading; the second daughter married Sir Neville Pearson, Bart., the son and successor of Sir Arthur Pearson, founder of the London Daily Express.

Lord Melchett retained his strong interest in Jewish affairs to the very end. Perhaps the last public statement he made was on October 21, when he resigned his Agency post, saying that the White Paper was “an act of almost unparalleled ingratitude and treachery committed by a government toward a credulous and harassed people.”

Lady Melchett was at his bedside when he died.

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Alfred Mond, 1st Baron Melchett's Timeline

October 23, 1868
Farnworth, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
August 6, 1895
Age 26
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
May 10, 1898
Age 29
May 10, 1898
Age 29
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
September 1901
Age 32
May 15, 1905
Age 36
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
December 27, 1930
Age 62
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom