Goldsmid was the son of Frederick Goldsmid and his wife Caroline Samuel. His father was a banker and Member of Parliament for Honiton. Goldsmid was educated privately until he entered University College, London. In 1864 he became a fellow of University College, and was also called to the bar. After a brief period on the Oxford circuit, he gave up practicing law when he was elected to parliament.
Goldsmid was first stood for Parliament at a by-election in February 1864 for the borough of Brighton, without success, and he was defeated again at the 1865 general election, when he contested Cirencester. He was elected unopposed as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Honiton at a by-election in March 1866. In that year, Goldsmid inherited Somerhill House near Tonbridge, Kent, on the death of his father. Honiton was disfranchised in 1868 by the Reform Act of 1867 and at the 1868 general election Goldsmid stood unsuccessfully for Mid Surrey. He was elected for Rochester at a by-election in 1870 and held the seat until his defeat at the 1880 general election. In 1879, Goldsmid began expanding Somerhill to accommodate his large family - he had eight daughters. The work took until 1897 to complete.
He then contested a by-election in May 1880 for Sandwich, and was returned to the Commons after a five-year absence at the 1885 general election as MP for St Pancras South, holding that seat until his death in 1896. In 1894 Goldsmid was deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
In 1878 Goldsmid succeeded his uncle, Sir Francis Goldsmid to the baronetcy and to the estate of Whiteknights Park at Earley in Berkshire, as well as others in Sussex, Kent and elsewhere. He also bore the Portuguese title of Baron de Goldsmid e da Palmeira. His business interests included being chairman of the Submarine Telegraph Company and the Imperial and Continental Gas Association, and he was a director of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway. A steam locomotive was named Goldsmid after him in 1892.
Goldsmid was treasurer of University College in 1880-81 and was a member of the council of University College Hospital. He was vice-chancellor of the University of London when he died. He was Deputy lieutenant of Kent, Sussex, and Berkshire, J. P. for Kent, Sussex, and London, colonel of the 1st Sussex Rifle Volunteers, and honorary colonel of the 1st Sussex Artillery Volunteers.
In 1868 Goldsmid married Virginia Philipson of Florence and had eight daughters.
- Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
- Jewish encyclopedia
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 66. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
- Craig, page 92
- Craig, page 154
- Huntingford, Diane (February 2009). "SOMERHILL HISTORY" (PDF). The Schools at Somerhill. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- Craig, page 467
- Craig, pages 258–9
- Craig, page 269
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 43. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
- Brighton St Ann's Well
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Julian Goldsmid, Bt
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Honiton
With: Alexander Baillie-Cochrane
Philip Wykeham Martin
John Alexander Kinglake
|Member of Parliament for Rochester
1870 – 1880
With: Philip Wykeham Martin 1870-1878
Sir Arthur Otway, Bt 1878-1880
Sir Arthur Otway, Bt
|Member of Parliament for St Pancras South
1885 – 1896
Sir James Paget
|Vice-Chancellor of University of London
1895 - 1896
Sir Henry Roscoe
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
Francis Henry Goldsmid
(of St John's Lodge)