16 May 2020

The Goldsmid Family

Judy Middleton 2002 (revised 2020)

Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid (1778-1859)
copyright © National Portrait Gallery, London
Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid (1778-1859)
by and published by Richard Dighton
hand-coloured etching, published August 1824
NPG D10919

Benedict Goldschmidt was born in Holland in 1696, and in around 1740 his second son Aaron Goldsmid moved to England and established himself as a merchant. Before the move to England, the Goldsmids had long been associated with Cassel, a town on the Fulda. But they had lost a considerable part of their fortune owing to the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). The Goldsmids soon settled into the English way of life. But Aaron died in mysterious circumstances just after he had opened a forbidden package left to him by the cabbalist Dr Falk.

However, two of Aaron’s sons, Benjamin and Abraham, did very well for themselves being ‘exclusively employed by Mr Pitt during the whole period of his administration’. William Pitt (1708-78) was known as a fine orator in the House of Commons. It is an incredible fact that his son William Pitt, the younger, (1759-1806) became Prime Minister at the early age of 24 – the youngest ever Prime Minister, and a record unlikely to be broken. Abraham married an heiress from an Amsterdam diamond merchant family, and moved in polite society, frequently entertaining the likes of the Prince Regent, the Duke of Sussex, and Lord Nelson. George III took luncheon with Abraham and happily called him his ‘good friend, Abraham the Jew’. Benjamin also made a fortuitous marriage in 1878 to the daughter of a wealthy East India merchant and she brought with her a dowry of £1,000,000.

It is said that the Goldsmids dominated the English stock market until 1810. The Goldsmid firm combined with that of Abraham Mocatta, and became known as Mocatta and Goldsmid. Other important Jewish families with links to England’s financial world were the Montefiores and the Rothschilds, and these families were interrelated.

Naturally, such success caused jealousy, and the establishment did not like their monopoly being broken. It was perhaps inevitable that when calamity struck, nobody would offer them help. What happened was that Sir Francis Baring died after Abraham, and he had floated a large government loan. Thus the firm failed. Matters were not helped by thr fact that Abraham Goldsmid (1756-1810) suffered from depression, and so did his brother Benjamin Goldsmid (1755-1898) and both of them committed suicide.

Isaac Lyon Goldsmid was the grandson of Aaron – fortunately for him the depressive gene seemed to pass him by, only to re-appear in his son Francis Henry Goldsmid. Isaac’s father was Asher Goldsmid who had married a Miss Keyser. The couple had to endure the heartbreak of their first three children dying in infancy. Isaac was the fourth child born on 13 January 1778. Asher was prevailed upon to name the child Isaac. This was on the insistence of a learned Rabbi who was living in the house and predicted that Isaac would survive to manhood and become a person of note. Isaac’s brothers were Aaron Asher and Moses Asher. But it was Isaac who rebuilt the family’s depleted fortune.

Isaac Lyon Goldsmid became a member of the Stock Exchange, and by the time his father died in 1822 his finances were secure and he became a prominent merchant banker. He was also a railway entrepreneur, and a director of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, as well as being a director of the forerunner of the London Port Authority. Goldsmid specialised in foreign loans, and in particular to Portugal, Brazil and the Ottoman Empire. A significant success was his work in sorting out the complicated Portuguese and Brazilian debts left behind after Brazil had gained its independence. In honour of this achievement the Queen of Portugal created him a Knight of the Tower and Sword of Portugal, and later on he was granted the title of Baron da Palmeira, not to mention being an officer of the Rose of Brazil. Thus from 1846 he could have used the title of Baron de Goldsmid and da Palmeira, but preferred to be known as Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid; he had received an English baronetcy in 1841, and was the first Jew to be so honoured.

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid's Portuguese title of Baron da Palmeira was used in the naming of Palmeira Square, Hove.

Goldsmid was involved in a number of benevolent schemes, and he was the prime mover in the struggle for Jewish emancipation. At that time, Jews were not allowed to vote, nor hold public office, nor attend a university unless they took a Christian oath. For these reasons, Goldsmid became one of the founders of University College, London, where no oath was required and Jews and Dissenters could receive a university education – it opened in October 1828. Goldsmid purchased the site in Gower Street, and endowed the first Chair of Geology at the University – later on he also endowed University College Hospital.

It was on the 26 June 1828 that Goldsmid and Montefiore attended a meeting, along with some prominent Dissenters and Roman Catholics, at the home of the Duke of Norfolk. However, the Act of 1828 proved to be a bitter disappointment to the Jews, although Protestant Dissenters and Roman Catholics received some relief. In 1833 Goldsmid organised a petition for Jewish emancipation that had 45,464 signatures, including 63 Jews and 494 Christians from the Brighton area. Jews were not allowed to serve as a Member of Parliament until 1858, while the last restriction to public office was not removed until 1890.

Goldsmid had a wide circle of friends including Lord Holland, Lord Brougham, Robert Owen, and several leading Quakers. Indeed, it was his involvement with the latter that led to his interest in the campaign for the abolition of slavery, and prison reform. When Owen opened a nursery school in New Lanark, Goldsmid went to inspect it, and the Jews’ Infant School in London was established in 1841.

Besides these activities, Goldsmid had an interest in literature, and he was a fine Hebrew scholar. After the Duke of Sussex died, the major part of his library was sold off in 1844. The stock included valuable Hebraica and Judaica but there were only two Jewish gentlemen interested in buying, one of them being Goldsmid. He was also a Fellow of the Linnaean Society, and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

In 1804 Goldsmid married his cousin Isabel, daughter of Abraham. The couple lad twelve children, including Francis Henry and Frederick David. Rachel, the 9th child and 5th daughter, married Count Solomon d’Avigdor, and it was to Rachel’s descendants that the Goldsmid inheritance devolved.

Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid lived in a number of properties. In 1840 he was said to be late of Dulwich Hill House, Camberwell, and was now of St John’s Lodge, Regent Park. The latter was probably the first villa to be erected in Regent’s Park, having originally been built to the designs of John Raffield for C. A. Tulk, MP. From 1831 to 1832 additions were made, designed by Decimus Burton, for Lord Wellesey, the Duke of Wellington’s elder brother. When Goldsmid acquired the property, he employed the services of Charles Barry (who was later knighted) to turn the residence into a virtual palace in the Italianate style. The central block acquired a third storey, and the long ballroom became a marvel of cinquecento style with Ambrose Poynter designing the d√©cor. A contemporary writer felt moved to comment that the house was ‘worthy of a great capitalist’. (Incidentally, both Decimus Burton and Sir Charles Barry had Hove connections. Barry designed St Andrew’s Chapel, Waterloo Street, celebrated today as the first example in England of the Italianate style, while Burton designed a house for Goldsmid, as well as the south-facing houses in Adelaide Crescent).

When Goldsmid first became involved with Hove, he lived at Wick House. Presumably, it was not to his taste and so he commissioned Decimus Burton to design a new villa for him, which was completed by 1840 – at first it was called Furze Hill, but later became Wick Hall.

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
An 1826 architectural view of Brunswick Square and adjacent buildings, designed by C A Busby.
Wick House is shown in the centre background on the hill.

On 25 March 1830 Goldsmid purchased the Wick Estate comprising of 200 acres in Hove and 50 acres in Preston. Goldsmid paid the sum of £55,525 for the property, plus £3,995 to Thomas Read Kemp, and £300 to John Hoper (a Stanford Estate trustee) in order to be free of seigniory, quit rents, heriots, and fealty with regard to ‘Wyke Farm’. The final grand total, with expenses, came to an impressive £60,000. Goldsmid also purchased a small piece of land in Brighton that adjoined the Wick Estate from Thomas Read Kemp. (It is amusing to note that at the time there was some doubt as to whether or not Jews could legally hold freehold land, but nobody chose to mount a challenge). In 1849 Goldsmid acquired Somerhill, near Tonbridge in Kent.

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
A splendid grandiose concept by David Mocatta, the architect of the Brighton Railway Station in 1841, for the banker Isaac Lyon Goldsmid. This is the only design for the residence in Brighton to incorporate the sea as an essentail feature and would have surpassed even the Royal Pavilion for splendour, and no doubt, expense. The building lower right corner is Adelaide Terrace, which was designed by Decimus Burton for Goldsmid and built in 1830.
 (A blue plaque in honour of David Mocatta (1806-1882) was unveiled at Brighton Station in August 2014)

Goldsmid offered to donate the site on which the church of St John the Baptist was later to be built.
copyright © J.Middleton
 Isaac Goldsmid donated the site for St John's in 1848.
St John’s was once so popular that queues of people
 formed outside hoping there would be a spare seat for
 Sunday morning service
His formal offer was made in a letter dated 20 January 1848 written from St John’s Lodge in which he stated,

‘Understanding that the erection of a church near Adelaide Crescent would likely be convenient to the inhabitants of the houses there and to those who reside in the neighbourhood, I beg to repeat in a more formal shape an offer I made some time ago.’ He also wanted to endow a sitting to be attached to Wick House so that his servants might attend services.

However, far from being grateful to Goldsmid for his generosity, the people connected with the establishment of a new church were somewhat grudging to say the least. Indeed, a parish meeting came to the conclusion that the site was not suitable because it was too near the parish church (St Andrew’s Old Church). Robert Upperton, churchwarden, also took umbrage because Goldsmid had addressed him as ‘secretary’. Goldsmid graciously apologised for his mistake, saying he did not know what post Upperton held. It remained to the Bishop of Chichester to sound a proper note of appreciation when in 1852 he came to lay the foundation stone of St John’s, and emphasized to the truculent people of Hove that it was a Jewish gentleman who had donated the site for a Christian church. This was not the end of tension between the two sides either. When Goldsmid was approached to see if he would enlarge the grant of land, Goldsmid refused because he thought the Dissenters might want some building plots. Goldsmid then received a stuffy note from the Diocese of Chichester in which it was earnestly hoped that Mr Goldsmid ‘would not think of encouraging Dissenters on his estate’.

Goldsmid also had trouble with the Brunswick Square Commissioners when the latter tried to extend their jurisdiction over his land. In 1851 when the Commissioners heard that Goldsmid intended to retain his right to remove beach and shingle from in front of Adelaide Crescent, and to drain his land through the town sewers, they were horrified. In response Goldsmid said he would exclude Adelaide Crescent from the scheme. Matters were eventually solved satisfactorily to both parties, and it is instructive to note that when the enlarged Commissioners met, it was Goldsmid who took the chair.

Goldsmid wrote his will on 15 July 1853, and he died on 27 April 1859. He was buried in the West London Synagogue Burial Ground at Balls Pond, Islington, where his tomb carries a long inscription. His widow Isabel died at St John’s Lodge aged 73 on 17 November 1860. In his will Goldsmid appointed his brothers Aaron Asher Goldsmid and Moses Asher Goldsmid as trustees, while he devised the freeholds to Sir Julian Goldsmid who was to be tenant for life. Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid left £2,000,000 – the fourth largest estate nationally between the years 1809 and 1914. Aaron Asher Goldsmid died 3 November 1860.

Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid (1808-1878)
copyright © National Portrait Gallery, London
 Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid (1808-1878)
by Camille Silvy, albumen print, 31 March 1861
NPG Ax52193

He was the second son of Sir Iaasac Lyon Goldsmid – born on 8 May 1808 – and he was the most outstanding of Sir Isaac’s and Lady Isabel’s twelve children. His father was keen that all his children, boys, as well as girls, should receive a good education. Thus at a comparatively early age young Francis began studying classics and mathematics with his tutor Mr Shergold in the mornings, while the afternoons were devoted to learning Hebrew and modern languages. His only relaxation was horse-riding. In January 1833 he became the first practising Jew to be called to the English Bar. He came to specialise in Chancery matters because his absence from court on Saturdays to fulfil his Sabbath obligation would matter less than if he were involved with the Common Law Courts. In 1858 he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

However, he well recognised the disadvantages under which Jews laboured, and in 1828 he made the first attempt to bring the matter to public attention by airing his views in the Press. The Act of 1828 brought great disappointment to Goldsmid and his fellow Jews because while it afforded the Dissenters and Roman Catholics some relief, the Jews were in fact worse off than they had been beforehand. Goldsmid might have underestimated the strong opposition from the Tories plus the many obstacles he encountered.

In 1830 Goldsmid published Two Letters in which he was realistic enough to admit that some Jews were against any sort of emancipation, fearing that such a measure would cause a falling-off from Judaism. This fear was not without some foundation because some Jews did convert to Christianity, and found their paths somewhat smoother as a result. Goldsmid would have been aware of this because he was related to the Basevis, a family of Italian Jews with a distinguished Jewish lineage. Nevertheless, George Basevi (1794-1845) and his parents became Anglicans, and it was George Basevi who acted as the architect when St Andrew’s Old Church, Hove, was re-built. The Goldsmids viewed things from the perspective of English gentlemen who were also Jews, but there were many in the House of Commons or the House of Lords who considered that London-based Jews had more in common with Jews living in Berlin or Vienna than with their English neighbours.

Also in 1830 Goldsmid produced another powerful appeal to the general public in Remarks on the Civil Disabilities of the Jews. It brought to their notice that Jews were not permitted to sit in Parliament, nor were they allowed to take on any public office. In 1831 Goldsmid wrote, ‘So long as the law shall … deprive Jews of any privilege which other Dissenters enjoy, it will continue to mark them, so far as the law can have that effect, a dishonoured and degraded caste.’

It is interesting to note that the Goldsmids were supported by the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Holland and Lord Lyndhurst, and no doubt it was a tribute to them that streets in Hove built on Goldsmid land were named after them. However, the support could not be overt, particularly in the case of Lord Lyndhurst who sat on the Woolsack and was obliged to vote with the government.

copyright © J.Middleton
Holland Road,  named after Lord Holland who supported the Goldsmid family in their fight for Jewish emancipation

The Goldsmids continued to be the leading Jewish emancipationists. On 5 April 1830 a Bill for removing the civil disabilities regarding Jews was introduced in the House of Commons, but after the second reading, the measure was thrown out. The Bill came up again in 1833, and although it passed through the House of Commons, it was rejected by the House of Lords. In 1835 when David Salomons was elected Sheriff of London, Lord Lyndhurst brought in a bill allowing Jews to accept municipal office without having to take a Christian oath.

In February and March 1845 two Jewish deputations went to see Sir Robert Peel – one was led by Montefiore, and the other was headed by the Goldsmids. Among the latter were the following:

Isaac Lyon Goldsmid
Francis Henry Goldsmid
J. G. Henriques
David Mocatta
Moses Mocatta (Montefiore’s uncle)

The Goldsmids were Ashkenezim Jews (of Polish or German descent), and it was they who entertained political ambitions, rather than the Sephardim Jews (of Spanish or Portuguese descent). The five Jews who were nominated for Parliament in 1847 were all Ashkenezim, amongst them being Francis Henry Goldsmid (Yarmouth) and Isaac Lyon Goldsmid (Beverley). However, in 1848 the Emancipation Bill failed, and it was to be another ten years before Jews were admitted to Parliament.

Francis Henry Goldsmid tried without success to become MP for Brighton, but in 1860 he was elected Liberal MP for Reading, a post he held until his death. He was also much involved with University College, London, where students did not need to take a Christian oath. The following is a list of his appointments:

Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire
Hove Commissioner (during 14 years he attended 22 meetings)
Magistrate for Berkshire and Gloucestershire
President of the Jews’ Infant School, London, since its foundation in 1841
Senate of University College, London,
Treasurer of University College, London

in 1859 Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid died, and Francis Henry inherited the title and the land, and he also retired from practising law. In 1862 Goldsmid inaugurated an annual dinner for his workers on the Wick Estate, which involved in the region of 100 men and boys. In 1866 the resident surveyor said that in the thirteen years he had worked for the estate, he had never had to dismiss a man in anger.

In The Keep there is a letter from Goldsmid to the Hove authorities dated 1 April 1862 concerning two roads they were anxious to make. They wanted one road to go from St John’s Church towards Cliftonville, and the other to go north to the railways station (later known as Holland Road Halt). It seems that Goldsmid considered they had not done their homework properly, replying that it was ‘necessary to be a little more precise on one or two points and especially to the proposed road by St John’s Church, of which your description is not quite accurate and which, in fact, can hardly be defined without a plan.’ Obviously, a precise legal mind was at work here.

By that time Goldsmid was living in St John’s Lodge, Regent’s Park, which his father had made into a palatial residence. Goldsmid lived with his wife Louisa, who was a cousin, but there were no children of the marriage. The couple also had the use of another home near Cirencester called Rendcombe House that the architect P. C. Hardwick re-designed for him in 1863 at a cost of £40,000. It was from the latter address, in November 1867, that Goldsmid offered to contribute £100 to the funds of the Brighton and Hove Dispensary on condition that other donors contributed £900.

In later life it is sad to record that Goldsmid began to suffer from depression, a family trait that had been present in his two great-uncles, and in 1875 his health gave way. On 2 May 1878 he was returning from a journey on the South Western Railway, when he slipped as he was alighting at Waterloo. He fell between the carriage and the platform, and since the train had not then come to a halt, he was dragged along for over ten yards. One foot was badly crushed, and there other injuries to his body. Goldsmid had been travelling in a first-class carriage from Southampton, while his valet, Charles Petter, travelled in a second-class carriage. He was later to identify the body because the unfortunate ‘deceased baronet expired on Thursday night in at Thomas’s Hospital from the effects of injuries he received by falling from a train in motion.’ At the subsequent inquest it was stated that people frequently got out of trains before they had come to a halt. Sir Francis himself said the accident happened because the carriage door had been flung open (presumably by a porter or attendant) before it stopped. Mr Napier, medical attendant to Sir Francis, stated that the baronet was extremely short-sighted, and had been obliged to hold a book close to his face in order to read it. The lighting on the station was said to be good, and a verdict of accidental death was returned.

Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid left £1,000,000.

Sir Julian Goldsmid (1838-1896)
copyright © National Portrait Gallery, London
 Sir Julian Goldsmid (1838-1896)
by Camille Silvy, albumen print, 31 March 1861
NPG Ax52194

He was the nephew of Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid, and he was the only surviving son of Frederick David Goldsmid, son of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid. Frederick David died on18 March 1866 at 20 Portman Square, London. When Julian’s uncle died in 1878, he inherited the title.

Julian Goldsmid was educated at University College, London, of which he became a Fellow in 1864. Also in 1864 he was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn. Altogether he served as an MP for 30 years, representing Honiton first of all, followed by Rochester, and then St Pancras South. He became Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, and it seemed likely that he would have progressed to the role of Speaker had his health had not given way.

In 1866 Goldsmid became President of the Anglo-Jewish Association. When London County Council was established there were six Jewish MPs (Liberals, Liberal Unionists, and one Conservative) but only the Unionist Sir Julian Goldsmid spoke in the debates of 1888.

In March 1894 Goldsmid presented Hove Library with 103 volumes of Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates 1866-1883.

Goldsmid lived in a large Jacobean house called Somerhill near Tonbridge in Kent that Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid had acquired in 1849. In 1883 Lady Monkswell reported that Somerhill was simply gigantic, but it was obviously not spacious enough for Sir Julian who had another wing added in 1884. He divided his time between Somerhill, Hove, and his French residence Villa Fiarenta near Cannes. If he needed to be in London he could always stay at his club White’s, one of the famous London clubs. But by the 1890s he had a residence at 105 Piccadilly.

Goldsmid owned land in Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Berkshire that produced an annual income of £35,000. His total holdings amounted to some 14,272 acres, and although only 193 aces were located in Sussex, they were worth £20,000 a year. Goldsmid was a director of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, and in May 1892 an engine was named after him.

Goldsmid was married, and although there were no sons, the couple did have eight daughters. After Goldsmid’s death at 4 Palmeira Square, Hove, on 7 January 1896, his eldest daughter, Mrs Sidney Hoffnung, took the name of Goldsmid, and in 1906 the Portuguese title was revived for her. However, the Goldsmid Estate had been entailed to the male descendants of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid’s daughters, should the direct male line die out.

The head of the senior branch of the family was Osmond d’Avigdor, the grandson of Rachel Goldsmid and Count Solomon Henry d’Avigdor who married in 1840. Their eldest son Elim was born in 1841, and at that time there were over twenty people between him and succession to the Goldsmid Estate. In the event, uncles and cousins began to die off in batches, and Elim became so sure of his inheritance – Great Expectations indeed – that he began to borrow money on the strength of it. However, Elim died 9 February 1895, the year before Sir Julian Goldsmid’s death, and so it was his son Osmond who succeeded to the estate. In order to do so he had to change his surname to Goldsmid. Sir Julian appointed the following men as trustees:

Frederic David Mocatta
Sir Charles James Jessel
Sir Arthur Charles
Sidney Philip Phillips
Richard Lake Harrison

Mocatta died on 16 January 1905, and Sir Arthur and Phillips wished to be relieved of their duties, and thus by 1912 the trustees were as follows:

Sir Charles James Jessel of Ladham House, Goudhurst, Kent
Richard Lake Harrison of 1 New Court, Lincoln’s Inn
Sidney Benjamin Francis Hoffnung-Goldsmid of 15 Chesham Place, London

Sir Osmond D’Avigdor Goldsmid (1877-1940)
copyright © J.Middleton
House numbers 4 and 5. both Sir Julian Goldsmid (1838-1896) 
and Sir Osmond D’Avigdor Goldsmid (1877-1940) lived at number 4.

In 1896 he inherited the lands that belonged to Sir Julian Goldsmid, and he was not yet 21 years of age. When he did reach that age, the townsmen of Tonbridge clubbed together to present him with a handsome gold watch to mark the occasion.

In 1899 Osmond donated ‘a most eligible site valued at £3,000’ on which the church of Thomas the Apostle in Davigdor Road was later built – in a parallel gesture to that of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid who donated the site on which the church of St John the Baptist was built.

On 23 October 1907 Goldsmid married Miss Rose Anne Alice Landau of the Villa Landau, Promenade des Anglais, Nice. The marriage settlement, dated the previous day, contained an astonishing 43 pages listing all his possessions, including the following:

Somerhill Estate, Kent, 4,124,656 acres
Wick Estate, also known as the Goldsmid Estate (see below)
Whiteknights Estate, Kent
Nizells Estate, Kent, 1,597,070 acres

Goldsmid made provision for his immediate family, and part of Whiteknights was charged with the payment of an annuity of £800 to his mother Mrs Henrietta Maria d’Avigdor Goldsmid, plus two sums of £10,000 each to his sister Berenice, and to the trustees of his sister Elsa’s marriage settlement (now Mrs Goldschmidt).

Part of the Nizells Estate was mortgaged for £20,000, and part of the Wick Estate was mortgaged for £40,000. This is the reason why so many house deeds at Hove, including those in Palmeira Avenue, Palmeira Square, Brunswick Road and Glendor Road, contain a mention of the marriage settlement.

As for the bride, the marriage settlement provided her with an income of £2,500 should she be widowed, but this amount would be reduced to £1,000 if she re-married. The latter gesture was generous because in the majority of cases, a widow lost any income from her first husband upon re-marriage. There were three children of the marriage:

Henry Joseph d’Avigdor-Goldsmid, born 10 June 1909
James Arthur d’Avigdor-Goldsmid, born 19 December 1912
One daughter, died in infancy

Osmond Goldsmid served throughout the First World War. Meanwhile, he lent a house on the sea-front at Hove, which became the Larnach Hospital for Wounded Officers, plus the house at 24 Palmeira Square, which became the Lady George Nevill Hospital, specialising in cases of shell-shock and nervous disorders. Osmond Goldsmid retired from the military with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The Goldsmid Estate Act 1928 enable him to surrender his equitable life interest to persons entitled to inherit on his death. A supplementary deed called a Dis-entailing Deed was drawn up on 10 June 1930.

He became Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Kent; in recognition of his services to Kent, he received a baronetcy in 1934, and thus revived the old baronetcy, which had become extinct in 1896 when Sir Julian Goldsmid died. Sir Osmond died on 14 April 1940 at 47 Hans Place, London, and his will was proved on 6 June 1940.

Major Sir Henry Joseph d’Avigdor-Goldsmid (1909-1976)
copyright © National Portrait Gallery, London
Major Sir Henry Joseph d’Avigdor-Goldsmid (1909-1976)
by Godfrey Argent, bromide print, 2 July 1969
NPG x11602

He was the eldest son of Sir Osmond Elim d’Avigdor Goldsmid. During the Second World War he served with the Royal West Kent Regiment, rising to the rank of major. He was Mentioned in Dispatches, awarded the MC and DSO, and was also wounded.

He was a friend of Sitwell and John Betjeman, and during the 1950s he lived at 19 Palmeira Square. In 1955 he was elected MP for Walsall.

He died in 1976, and it is sad to record that he never recovered from the death of his daughter Sarah Venetia in a boating accident. There is a Marc Chagall window to her memory in All Saints Church, Tudelay, near Tonbridge.

Venetia’s sister Chloe was badly injured in a riding accident, and at one point her distressed mother thought she might lose this daughter too. Fortunately she recovered. In April 1994 Chloe continued the family tradition by becoming High Sheriff of Kent, a position once held by her father. Chloe married James Teacher, the whisky heir, and they had two daughters Petra and Poppy.

Meanwhile, Sir Henry’s brother, James Arthur succeeded to the title. Like his brother, he too became an MP and was awarded the MC during the war. He opened the hall at the new synagogue in Palmeira Avenue. Sir James died in 1987, and the title ceased with him.

copyright © National Portrait Gallery, London
Sir James Arthur d'Avigdor-Goldsmid
by Walter Bird, 15 January 1964
NPG x167014

The Goldsmid Estate

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
A section of J. Sleath and W. Saunders' 1837 Plan of Brighton and Its Environs Including All the Recent Improvements. Wick Estate shown at the top of Brunswick Square Road

This was the name of the property in Hove belonging to the Goldsmid family that had been purchased in 1830 by Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid when it was known as the Wick Estate. In 1830 the estate consisted of 200 acres in Hove and 50 acres in Preston. Part of the land had already been sold off for the Brunswick Town development. But when Goldsmid purchased the estate, it was still agricultural land with a few farm buildings and the large Wick House. Later figures for the land were as follows:

193 acres, 3 rods, and 28 perches in 1873
188 acres in 1876

Sir Isaac left his land to his male heirs, and if the direct male line died out, it was to go to the descendants of his daughters. But like other large estates, the heir was only tenant for life, and could not freely dispose of property. All potential transactions had to pass through the hands of the trustees, who in 1861 were as follows:

Moses Asher Goldsmid (Isaac’s brother)
Francis Henry Goldsmid (Isaac’s son)
Frederick David Goldsmid (Isaac’s son)
Nathaniel Montefiore

In 1879 the Goldsmid Estate Act was passed, and this helped to loosen constraints in that the heir was given powers for leasing and contracting: all the same any money accruing had to be paid to the trustees. Under this Act, leases could be granted for any term not exceeding 99 years, while people who leased property had the option of purchasing outright or at three months’ notice. The names at the end of the document were as follows:

Trustees under the will of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid

Sir Julian Goldmsid
Elim Henry d’Avigdor, and his son already born ((Osmond) Sergius d’Avigdor, plus sons hereafter to be born
Nathaniel Montefiore
Frederic David Mocatta

Trustees to Sir Francis Henry Goldsmid
Nathaniel Montefiore
Alfred Goldsmid
Executors and trustees of Frederick David Goldsmid

Emma and Nathaniel Montefiore
Nathaniel Montefiore
Frederic David Mocatta
Caroline Goldsmid

Trustees under the settlement of 27 October 1856

Helen Lucas
Mary Ada Mocatta
Frederic David Mocatta
Nathaniel Montefiore

As older family members died, younger members took their place as trustees. By 1894 one of these was Claude Joseph Goldsmid Montefiore of Portman Square, London.

By 1925 the trustees of the Goldsmid Estate were as follows:

Charles John Stewart Harper of 10 & 12 Bishopsgate, London (solicitor)
Montague Wheeler of 5 Pembridge Close, Bayswater

In 1928 another Goldsmid Estate Act enabled the tenant for life to surrender his equitable life to persons entitled to inherit on his death.

In 1953 the trustees of the Goldsmid Estate were as follows:

James Liddel-Simpson of 27 Wilton Place, London (bill-broker)
Henry Alistair Fergusson Crewdson of 1 New Court, Lincoln’s Inn
Edward Elkin Mocatta of 7 Throgmorton Avenue, London (bullion dealer)

The Goldsmid Estate was developed into the following roads:
copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Goldsmid Road off The Seven Dials, Brighton
in the 1950s

Addison Road
(Upper) Davigdor Road
Farm Road
Furze Hill
Highdown Road
Glendale Road
Goldsmid Road
Lyndhurst Road
Montefiore Road
Nizells Avenue
Osmond Road
Palmeira Mews
Rochester Gardens
Salisbury Road
Silverdale Road
Somerhill Avenue
Wolstonbury Road
York Avenue
York Road

copyright © J.Middleton
Photographed on 14 July 2014, Adelaide Crescent can be seen curving towards Palmeira Square.

Most of the conveyances had restrictive covenants to ensure properties must remain strictly private residences with the exception of medicine and dentistry. There was to be:

No commercial activity
No advertisements
No pigs, fowls or livestock
No laundry to be hung outside

Most of the properties were sold as leaseholds.

In 1976 the last 39 remaining properties of the Goldsmid Estate were sold off to the Martlet Housing Association.


Alderman, G, London Jewry and London Politics 1889-1986 (1989)
Brighton & Hove Gazette (8 September 1967 / 15 September 1967)
Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
Evening Argus (20 July 1981)
Link-up (April 1980)
Marks, D. W. A Memoir of Sir Francis Goldsmid (1882)
Spector, D. Baron Palmeira and the Goldsmids of Hove Manuscript of a lecture 1980
Spector, D. Brighton Jewry Reconsidered (ND )
Spector, D. Jews of Brighton (ND)

(London-born David Spector (1912-1997) was a prominent member of the local Jewish community, having moved to Hove in 1960. During the Second World War, he volunteered for the Jewish Brigade, and rose to the rank of Brigade Major, serving on the front line in Algeria and Italy. It is interesting to note that some of the men he trained later became prominent in the Israeli Army. Afterwards, Spector was in the forefront of helping thousands of displaced Holocaust survivors to make their way to Palestine – his papers from that period are to be found in Museum and Archives of the Israeli Defence Forces. He became something of an expert in Middle East affairs, and he was awarded two Israeli medals to add to his British war medals. When living at Hove, he served as treasurer and trustee of the Middle Street Synagogue, and led a campaign for its refurbishment as well as seeking to have it made a listed building. He had a continuing interest in the history of Jews in Brighton and Hove, and delivered many lectures on the subject. The three papers cited above are to be found in Hove Library).

The Keep

The Keep holds a very detailed archive, which was previously lodged with solicitors Fitzhugh Gates. The reference numbers are ACC 4982/68/1-43, and ACC 5376. Below is a selection of the documents studied:

ACC 4982/68/15 – Re 38 Brunswick Road 1911-1948
ACC 4982/68/4 – Deeds relating to Addison Road, Osmond Road, and Montefiore Road 1903-06
ACC 4982/68/14 – Deeds relating to Palmeira Avenue 1882-1936
ACC 4982/68/17 – Deeds relating to Palmeira Square 1865-1935
ACC 4982/68/23 – Leaseholds of 31, 33, and 35 Brunswick Road 1880-1953
ACC 4982/68/26 – Leaseholds of 8 Farm Road 1880-1943
ACC 4982/68/33 – Marriage settlement of Osmond Elim d’Avigdor Goldsmid 1907
ACC 4982/68/35 – Abstract of title to the Goldsmid Estate 1879
ACC 4982/68/38 – Goldsmid Estate Book 1880
ACC 4982/68/42 – Plan of the Lyndhurst Estate 1906
ACC 4982/68/43 – Plan showing St Ann’s Well Gardens and Wick House
ACC 5376/50/1 – Holland Road 1860-1938
ACC 5376/50/3 – Lansdowne Place 1849-1926
ACC 5376/50/4 – Goldsmid Road 1843-1937
ACC 5376/50/8 – Glendale Road 1908-1923

PAR 387/10/50/1-5 – Letters from Baron Goldsmid concerning the site of St John’s Church

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