Sir Gabriel Goldney, 1st Baronet
Ancestry and early life
The Goldney family, from Bristol, became clothiers in Chippenham in the sixteenth century and were long afterwards associated with Wiltshire, and particularly the town. An ancestor, Henry Goldney, had also been a member of parliament for Chippenham and was in 1553 appointed the first "Bayliff" of Chippenham. A 17th-century ancestor, also named Gabriel, left bequests in his will to provide "greatcoats for six poor inhabitants".
Goldney was born on 25 July and baptised at Chippenham on 3 December 1813. His father was Harry Goldney (1774–1852) and his mother Elizabeth (née Reade, c. 1789–1863). He was educated at Christ's Hospital (of which he later became a governor) from 1820 to 1828.
Goldney married Mary Anne Alexander in Corsham on 16 September 1839, and they had four children: Mary Catherine Goldney (14 October 1841 – 4 August 1854), Gabriel Prior Goldney (b. 4 August 1843), Frederick Hastings Goldney (b. 26 May 1845), and John Tankerville Goldney (b. 15 June 1846).
Goldney became a landowner, financier and banker. In 1854 he bought Sheldon Manor and in 1856, land in Hilmarton. His investments extended outside Wiltshire to Camberley in Surrey, as in 1860 he advanced money to develop a silk farm at Heatherside; however, the venture failed, Goldney foreclosed on his investment and took possession of the land, part of which later became Prior Park, Camberley, the residence of his two elder sons.
In 1863 he bought land at Bradenstoke Abbey from Frederick Methuen, 2nd Baron Methuen, and the following year, bought Stanley Abbey from John Bayntun Starkey. By 1888 he also owned land at Monks Park, Corsham, which he leased for quarrying.
He was first elected to parliament as Conservative Member of Parliament for Chippenham, Wiltshire, England on 11 July 1865 and made his maiden speech on 20 April 1866. By this time, he was a Director of the North Wilts Bank. In this capacity, he was persuaded by railway engineer Roland Brotherhood to relax the bank's conditions on his overdraft in return for help in getting Goldney re-elected in the forthcoming election; Goldney, having been re-elected, then advised the bank that the conditions could be relaxed. However, shortly after this, in 1869, the bank changed its mind, and Brotherhood's enterprise failed; Brotherhood blamed Goldney for this. Goldney was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire on 22 February 1869.
The position of Bailiff of Chippenham passed down to Goldney; he was also a Freemason, holding the office of Grand Warden of England. He was created Baronet Goldney of Beechfield in the parish of Corsham, and Bradenstoke Abbey in the parish of Lyneham on 30 April 1880.
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- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Gabriel Goldney