The London Committee of Deputies of British Jews (more commonly London Board of Deputies) was a body formed to safeguard the interests of British Jews as a religious community. It’s origins can be can be traced to a committee called ‘The Committee of Diligence’ formed to watch the progress through the Irish Parliament, in 1745, of the bill for Jewish naturalisation. The board was established to protect the interests of British Jews not only in the British Isles, but in the colonies.
The deputies watched over all the legislation relating to marriages, labour laws, and other matters which might affect Jews prejudicially, and aided considerably in the struggle for Jewish emancipation. In 1835 Sir Moses Montefiore (Nathan Rothschild's brother-in-law) was elected president, and he remained in that office until his death. The committee took an active part in the Damascus Affair as well as in the early struggle for Reform.
Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild was acknowledged as the lay head of Anglo-Jewry. The testimonial records “it is felt that this is a fitting opportunity to record the sense of genuine personal regard and affection in which you are held by the entire Jewish Community of which you have so long been the foremost representative.”