London Legal History Seminar, 7 Dec. 2022: Francis Goldsmid

A London Legal History Seminar

Jewish Emancipation in Nineteenth Century Britain : Francis Goldsmid

A talk by Dr Andrew Watson, Sheffield Hallam University

Wednesday 7th December, 6pm
In-Person at UCL’s Faculty of Law

About the course

Francis Goldsmid was the first professing Jewish barrister in 1833 and the first to be appointed as a Queen’s Counsel a quarter of a century later. His early life, education, Call to the Bar and time as a barrister is described. Civil and political disabilities faced by Jews in Nineteenth Century Britain are explained: Francis Goldsmid’s important role in their ultimate removal is set out. His career as a Liberal Member of Parliament, during the 1860s and 1870s, is considered, particularly his stances on significant reforms of English law and procedure and his concern for the human rights of his co-religionists and others abroad. Goldsmid’s contribution to religious reform and his generous support, financial and otherwise, to causes and campaigns is recounted.

About the speaker

Andrew Watson is a Senior Research Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University and has written recently about the historical depiction of Jewish people in art and the history of Jews in Argentina. He is researching the history of the Barristers’ Cab Rule, changes in court advocacy through the centuries and legal education in Nineteenth Century Britain.

About London Legal History Seminars

The London Legal History Seminar is a long-running inter-collegiate seminar series at the University of London, devoted to promoting recent research in the field. The Seminar is run by Dr David Foster (UCL), Prof Mark Lunney (KCL), and Prof Catharine MacMillan (KCL). For more details on LLHS events, please contact Prof. MacMillan ( to be added to our email list.