Sir Julian Goldsmid

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About Sir Julian Goldsmid

English baronet, privy councilor, member of Parliament, and philanthropist; born Oct. 2, 1838; died at Brighton Jan. 7, 1896. He was the eldest son of Frederick D. Goldsmid, M.P. Educated privately up to the age of seventeen, he entered University College, of which he became a prizeman. He received his B.A. degree with honors at the University of London in 1859, and in 1861 obtained his M.A., with the first place in classics. In 1864 he was made a fellow of University College, and in the same year was called to the bar. For a short time he went on the Oxford circuit, but abandoned legal practise when elected M.P. for Honiton in March, 1866.

(see image) Julian Goldsmid.

When Honiton was disfranchised by the Reform Bill of 1867 Goldsmid stood unsuccessfully for Mid-Surrey, but was returned in 1870 for Rochester, and sat for that constituency till 1880. He was defeated at Sandwich, but in 1885 was returned for St. Pancras South. During 1894 Goldsmid, who belonged to the Liberal party, often had the honor of presiding over the deliberations of the House of Commons as deputy chairman of committees. In this capacity he showed great boldness and promptitude in the use of his extensive knowledge of the rules of Parliament, and acted with an authority born of his experience as the ruling spirit of important financial undertakings. As the Liberal Unionist candidate for St. Pancras South, Sir Julian Goldsmid was returned in 1895 by an overwhelming majority.

The Jewish communal institutions with which Goldsmid was most prominently identified were the Anglo-Jewish Association and the Russo-Jewish Committee. He was elected a vice-president of the former at its foundation in 1871, which office he held till 1886, when he was unanimously chosen to succeed Baron de Worms in the presidency. His thorough knowledge of foreign affairs enabled him to present in the clearest light the situation of the Jews in Eastern countries; and his intimacy with ministers was utilized by him to carry through many a difficult and delicate diplomatic negotiation. The period of his presidency was the most brilliant in the history of the Anglo-Jewish Association. In 1895 the state of Goldsmid's health obliged him to give up many of his responsible positions. He resigned his presidency in that year, and also relinquished many of his financial interests.

Goldsmid was chairman of the Russo-Jewish Committee from its foundation in 1882 until 1894; a member of the visitation committee of the Jewish board of guardians; president of the Jews' Infant-Schools from 1883; and a member of the committee of the Jews' Free School. He was warden, and occasionallay preacher, at the West London Synagogue of British Jews, and was subsequently elected chairman of the council.

In the general community the institutions in which he took most interest were: University College, of which he was treasurer in 1880-81; University College Hospital, of which he served as a member of council; and the University of London, of which he was vice-chancellor at the time of his death.

In 1878 Goldsmid succeeded his uncle, Sir Francis Goldsmid, Q.C., M.P., in the family honors and estates, in Sussex, Kent, Berks, and elsewhere. He filled many offices, among them that of deputy lieutenant for Kent, Sussex, and Berks; magistrate for Kent, Sussex, and London; colonel of the 1st Sussex Rifle Volunteers, and honorary colonel of the 1st Sussex Artillery Volunteers; chairman of the Submarine Telegraph Company, and of the Imperial and Continental Gas Association; and director of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway.

His chief country-seat was at Somerhill, near Tunbridge, once the home of Sir Philip Sidney. In 1868 he married Virginia, daughter of A. Philipson of Florence, by whom he had eight daughters. The entailed Goldsmid estates devolved upon Osmond Elim d'Avigdor.

Bibliography: Jew. Chron. Jan. 10, 1896;

Jew. World, Jan. 10, 1896;

The Times, London, Jan. 8, 1896.J

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Sir Julian Goldsmid's Timeline

1838
October 2, 1838
1868
1868
Age 29
1869
1869
Age 30
City of London, Greater London, UK
1870
September 20, 1870
Age 31
Grosvenor Street, Westminster, Middlesex, England
1871
1871
Age 32
1873
1873
Age 34
1874
October 27, 1874
Age 36
St George Hanover Square, London, London, England
1877
1877
Age 38
1878
1878
Age 39
1879
June 27, 1879
Age 40
St George, Hanover Square, London, England