Sampson Eardley

Sampson Eardley, 1st Baron Eardley FRS (10th October 1744 – 25th December 1824), known as Sir Sampson Gideon from 1759 until 1789, was the son of another Sampson Gideon (1699–1762), a Jewish banker in the City of London who advised the British government in the 1740s and 1750s, and his wife Jane (died 1778), daughter of Charles Ermell of London. Sampson Gideon the Elder remained a practising Jew but lobbied the Prime Minister, the Duke of Newcastle, to elevate him to a baronet. Naturally denied he had his children baptised and brought up in the Church of England. Thus, under his father’s influence, the younger Sampson Gideon was created a baronet, on 21st May 1759, though aged only 13 years. Consequently, the young alien was able to insinuate himself into Parliament as a Tory member. In 1768, the Jew Gideon married Maria Wilmot, the daughter of Sir John Eardley Wilmot, chief Justice of the Common Pleas; legally changing his surname to that of Eardley on 17th July 1789 to better conceal his nature. The same year he was made an Irish peer, with the title of Baron Eardley, though careful that the peerage carried no seat in the House of Lords and thus did not disqualify him from membership of the British House of Commons. Gideon was the first Provincial Grand Master of Cambridgeshire Freemasons, appointed in 1796, until his death While his two sons predeceased him meaning the peerage became extinct on Gideon’s death, Christmas Day, 1824, however his tainted alien Jewish blood is passed through his daughter the Honourable Charlotte Elizabeth married to Sir Culling Smith, 2nd Baronet, and their son Sir Culling Smith who assumed the surname of Eardley in lieu of Smith in 1847. Charlotte’s and Sir Culling Smith’s daughter Maria Charlotte married Reverend Eardley Childers Walbanke-Childers and was the mother of politician Hugh Childers.

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