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LEWIS GOLDSMITH (c. 1763–1846)

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Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 214 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LEWIS GOLDSMITH (c. 1763–1846), Anglo-French publicist, of Portuguese-Jewish extraction, was born near London about 1763. Having published in 18o1 The Crimes of Cabinets, or a Review of the Plans and Aggressions for Annihilating the Liberties of France, and the Dismemberment of her Territories, an attack on the military policy of Pitt, he moved, in 1802, from England to Paris. Talleyrand introduced him to Napoleon, who arranged for him to establish in Paris an English tri-weekly, the Argus, which was to review English affairs from the French point of view. According to his own account, he was in 1803 entrusted with a mission to obtain from the head of the French royal family, afterwards Louis XVIII., a renunciation of his claims to the throne of France, in return for the throne of Poland. The offer was declined, and Goldsmith says that he then received instructions to kidnap Louis and kill him if he resisted, but, instead of executing these orders, he revealed the plot. He was, nevertheless, employed by Napoleon on various other secret service missions till 1807, when his Republican sympathies began to wane. In 1809 he returned to England, where he was at first imprisoned but soon released; and he became a notary in London. In 1811, being now violently anti-republican, he founded a Sunday newspaper, the Anti-Gallican Monitor and Anti-Corsican Chronicle, subsequently known as the British Monitor, in which he denounced the French Revolution. In 1811 he proposed that a public subscription should be raised to put a price on Napoleon's head, but this suggestion was strongly repro-bated by the British government. In the same year he published Secret History of the Cabinet of Bonaparte and Recueil des mini-testes, or a Collection of the Decrees of Napoleon Bonaparte, and in 1812 Secret History of Bonaparte's Diplomacy. Goldsmith alleged that in the latter year he was offered £200,000 by Napoleon to discontinue his attacks. In 1815 he published An Appeal to the Governments of Europe on the Necessity of bringing Napoleon Bonaparte to a Public Trial. In 1825 he again settled down in Paris, and in 1832 published his Statistics of France. His only child, Georgiana, became, in 1837, the second wife of Lord Lyndhurst. He died in Paris on the 6th of January 1846.
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