Abraham Goldsmid: Money Magician in the Popular Press

  • Mark L. Schoenfield


When the financier Abraham Goldsmid died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on September 25, 1810, just two years after his brother and business partner Benjamin Goldsmid had killed himself, polite magazines and newspapers throughout Great Britain reported the event. The disastrous effect of his death on the public stocks was immediate, and political economists speculated on—and sought to mitigate—the extended ramifications. The European Magazine and London Review ran four different pieces in its October 1810 edition. Its second article (longer than its first on the King’s Jubilee and accompanied by a frontispiece portrait of Goldsmid) began by announcing: “There has, in the commercial and moral world, scarcely ever occurred an event that has excited a more general sensation of sorrow, or in a greater degree stimulated the emotions of sensibility.”2 A poem by “J. M.” immediately followed on the next page, declaring that:

Blessed with those qualities which men hold dear

Wealth, honour, fame, attended his career,

His death a grateful nation seem’d to feel.

So Florence mourn’d—so drooped commercial pride,

When Cosmo perish’d, and Lorenzo died.3


Financial Market Jewish Identity Public Character Paper Money Public Credit 
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© Sheila A. Spector 2008

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  • Mark L. Schoenfield

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