- MANCROFT family of British politicians. ARTHUR MICHAEL SAMUEL, first BARON MANCROFT (1872–1942), English politician and philanthropist. Born into a wealthy family long-settled in the Mancroft district of Norwich, Arthur Samuel became head of one of the family shoe manufacturing concerns but retired in 1912 to devote himself to public affairs. He contributed large sums and devoted service to various causes in Norwich, including the Castle Museum and Picture Gallery, and was lord mayor of Norwich from 1912 to 1913. During World War I he worked at the War Office and later at the Ministry of Supply where he dealt with arms contracts. Samuel was elected to Parliament as a Conservative from 1918, and became parliamentary secretary to the Board of Trade and minister for the Department of Overseas Trade. From 1927 to 1929 he was financial secretary to the Treasury. In 1932 he was made a baronet and in 1937 was raised to the peerage as Baron Mancroft. His writings include the biography Piranesi (1910), The Herring: Its Effect on the History of Britain (1918), The Mancroft Essays (all written under the name Arthur Michael Samuel), and numerous articles on economic and financial matters. While not active in communal affairs, Lord Mancroft occasionally defended Jewish interests in and out of Parliament. Lord Mancroft was succeeded by his son, STORMONT MANCROFT, the second baron Mancroft (1914–1987). He was undersecretary to the Home Office from 1954 to 1957, when he became parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Defense. He entered the cabinet as minister without portfolio, but resigned in the following year. In 1964 Stormont Mancroft was the central figure in a controversy which broke out when he was appointed chairman of the Board of the Norwich Union Insurance company, with which his family had long been associated. Although he had never shown any Jewish or Zionist interests, he was removed from the post as a concession to Arab pressure. (Vivian David Lipman)
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.