Alexander Raphael

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Alexander Raphael (died 1850) was the first British-Armenian to serve in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.[1] He was returned as a Liberal MP from the Irish constituency of County Carlow, at a by-election in June 1835. However the election was challenged on petition and he was unseated on 19 August 1835. Raphael succeeded in entering the House of Commons as a Catholic Tory from St Albans in 1847 and retained the seat until his death. Prior to serving in Parliament, he had been Sheriff of London for 1834, where he lost the tip of his left index finger in a fight with a criminal.[2] His father was Edward Raphael who was one of the founders of the Carniac Bank in Madras, India, which opened its doors in 1788.

His legacy is St Raphael's Church in Surbiton, London, which he financed and had built as a family chapel. Completed in 1848, only two years before his death, it was later opened to the public as a Roman Catholic church by his nephew, Edward.[3]


  1. ^ Seth, Mesrovb Jacob (1937). Armenians in India: From the Earliest Times to the Present. Calcutta. p. 595.
  2. ^ David Marshall Lang.Armenia: Cradle of Civilization. George Allen and Unwin Publishers. British ISBN 0-04-956008-5
  3. ^ "Saint Raphael - Our Church". Official website. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  • Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, edited by B.M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
  • James Corbett, A History of St Albans states that Alexander Raphael was a Liberal, as does F.W.S. Craig in British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885.

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Alexander Raphael
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Kavanagh
Henry Bruen
Member of Parliament for County Carlow
With: Nicholas Aylward Vigors
Succeeded by
Henry Bruen
Thomas Kavanagh
Preceded by
Benjamin Bond Cabbell
George Repton
Member of Parliament for St Albans
1847 – 1850
With: George Repton
Succeeded by
Jacob Bell
George Repton

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