Francis Goldsmid

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Sir Francis Goldsmid, Bt
Francis Henry Goldsmid Vanity Fair 7 December 1872.jpg
"Barrister and Baronet"
Goldsmid as caricatured by James Tissot in Vanity Fair, December 1872
Born 1 May 1808
Died 2 May 1878
Occupation Barrister, politician
Net worth £1 million [1]
Parent(s) Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid
Relatives Frederick Goldsmid (brother)
Sir Julian Goldsmid (nephew)

Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid, 2nd Baronet (1 May 1808 – 2 May 1878)[2] was an Anglo-Jewish barrister and politician.

Early life[edit]

The son of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid and a member of the Goldsmid banking family, Francis was born in London, and privately educated.


Goldsmid was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1833, becoming the first Jew to become an English barrister, and was made Queen's Counsel in 1858. In 1859 he succeeded to his father's honors. After the passing of the Jewish Disabilities Bill, in which he had aided his father with a number of pamphlets that attracted great attention, he entered Parliament in 1860 as member for the Reading constituency, and represented that constituency until his death.[3][4]

Goldsmid was strenuous on behalf of the Jewish religion, and the founder of the great Jews Free School. He was a munificent contributor to charities and especially to the endowment of University College London. He married Louisa Goldsmid who was his cousin. His wife was a campaigner for women's education.[5] He employed the author and translator Frederica Maclean Rowan as his secretary for some years.[6]

Death and legacy[edit]

Goldsmid died without issue, was succeeded in the baronetcy by his nephew Sir Julian Goldsmid, son of Frederick Goldsmid.[3] Goldsmid Road in the town of Reading is named after Francis Goldsmid, and is the location of the town's orthodox synagogue.


  1. ^ Rubinstein, William (2001). "Jewish top wealth—holders in Britain, 1809—1909". Jewish Historical Studies. 37: 144. Retrieved April 24, 2016 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (help)). 
  2. ^ "House of Commons constituencies beginning with "R" (part 1)". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  3. ^ a b  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Goldsmid". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 214. 
  4. ^ "Francis Henry Goldsmid". Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  5. ^ Geoffrey Alderman, ‘Goldsmid, Louisa Sophia, Lady Goldsmid (1819–1908)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 10 Sept 2015
  6. ^ F. T. Marzials, ‘Rowan, Frederica Maclean (1814–1882)’, rev. Susanne Stark, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 15 Nov 2015

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Francis Piggott
Sir Henry Singer Keating
Member of Parliament for Reading
With: Francis Piggott to Nov 1860
Gillery Piggott Nov 1860–1863
George Shaw-Lefevre from 1863
Succeeded by
George Shaw-Lefevre
George Palmer
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Isaac Lyon Goldsmid
(of St John's Lodge)
Succeeded by
Julian Goldsmid