Goldsmid family

Not to be confused with Goldschmidt family.
Abraham Goldsmid, 1756-1810
The Goldsmid family crest, with motto Concordia et sedulitate

Goldsmid is the name of a family of Anglo-Jewish bankers who sprang from Aaron Goldsmid (died 1782), a Dutch merchant who settled in England about 1763. Two of his sons, Benjamin Goldsmid (c. 1753-1808) and Abraham Goldsmid (c. 1756-1810), began business together about 1777 as bill-brokers in London, and soon became great powers in the money market, during the Napoleonic war, through their dealings with the government. Abraham Goldsmid was in 1810 joint contractor with the Barings for a government loan, but owing to a depreciation of the scrip he was forced into bankruptcy and committed suicide. His brother, in a fit of depression, had similarly taken his own life two years before. Both were noted for their public and private generosity, and both played major roles in funding, and managing the Naval Asylum - later renamed the Royal Naval Asylum. Benjamin left four sons, the youngest being Lionel Prager Goldsmid; Abraham a daughter, Isabel.

They had a nephew, Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid. Isaac had married his cousin Isabel (see above), and their second son was Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid, Bart. (1808-1878). Francis Henry became the first Jew to become an English barrister, and went on to represent the Reading constituency. He also married his cousin - Louisa Goldsmid. They had no children so Francis was succeeded in the baronetcy by his nephew Sir Julian Goldsmid, Bart. (1838-1896), son of Frederick David Goldsmid (1812-1866), long MP for Honiton. Sir Julian was for many years in Parliament, and his wealth, ability and influence made him a personage of considerable importance. He was eventually made a privy councillor. He had eight daughters, but no son, and his entailed property passed to his relation, Osmond Elim d'Avigdor, his house in Piccadilly being converted into the Isthmian Club.

Another distinguished member of the same family was Sir Frederic John Goldsmid (1818-1908), son of Lionel Prager Goldsmid. His sister married Henry Edward Goldsmid (1812-1855), an eminent Indian civil servant, son of Edward Goldsmid; his reform of the revenue system in Bombay, and introduction of a new system, established after his death, through his reports in 1840-1847, and his devoted labor in land-surveys, were of the highest importance to western India, and established his memory there as a public benefactor.

Goldsmid Baronets

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