Samson Gideon: Eighteenth Century Jewish Financier

Samson Gideon,2 the most noteworthy financier, Jew or Christian, of mid eighteenth century England, was born in 1699, entered business in 1719 and died in 1762. His active career covered the period in which England, freed from internal political turmoil (though still threatened from time to time, as in 1745, by dynastic revolt) and successful in foreign war, was expanding in wealth and enterprise and was lay? ing the groundwork of her nineteenth century predominance. He gained his prominence despite, not because of, the circumstances of his birth and upbringing, and his position when gained was not one to which the age awarded social recognition. It was gained by mastery in a new, and to his contemporaries a somewhat sinster craft, that of a jobber in the rising market in stocks and shares, and by qualities of mind and character that made him supreme in it. In consequence he appears

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