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Ralph Bernal (2 October 1783[1] or 2 October 1784[2] – 26 August 1854) was a British Whig[3] politician and art collector.

His parents, Jacob Israel Bernal and wife Leah da Silva,[4] were Sephardi Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin, but he was baptised at St Olave Hart Street in London.[1][5] His father was a merchant.

During his youth he became an actor and he performed to acclaim in several works by William Shakespeare, during which time he gained a reputation for oratory. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Lincoln 1818–20[6] and MP for Rochester from 1820–41 and again from 1847–52.[2] From 1842–47 he was MP for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis.[7]

Bernal was president of the British Archaeological Society in 1853.[8] He built up a substantial collection of glass, ceramics and other art objects, which were auctioned after his death, with the 4,000 lots selling for £70,000.[1]

He married Ann Elizabeth White in April 1806.[9] His eldest son was Ralph Bernal Osborne (1808–1882), a politician, who took on the surname Osborne on marrying the daughter of Sir Thomas Osborne, 9th Baronet.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Davies, Helen (2004). "Bernal, Ralph (1783–1854)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 November 2010. available online to subscribers, and also in print
  2. ^ a b Rayment, Leigh. "Rochester (Kent)". House of Commons. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  3. ^ Stooks Smith, Henry (1973) [1844-1850]. Craig, F. W. S. (ed.). The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 97, 203, 170–71. ISBN 0-900178-13-2.
  4. ^ "CRAWLEY m. BERNAL 1792". Curiousfox.com. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  5. ^ Members Constituencies Parliaments Surveys. "BERNAL, Ralph (1783-1854), of 11 Park Crescent, Mdx". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  6. ^ Rayment, Leigh. "Lincoln (Lincolnshire)". House of Commons. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  7. ^ Rayment, Leigh. "Weymouth &Melcombe Regis (Dorset)". House of Commons. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  8. ^ British Archaeological Society website; accessed 12 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Joy-Lumsden-Kingston-6 - User Trees". genealogy.com. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  10. ^ Beales, Derek (2004). "Osborne, Ralph Bernal (1808?–1882)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 November 2010. Available online to subscribers, and also in print

External linksEdit