Schuster

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SCHUSTER

SCHUSTER , English family of German origin. The founder of the Frankfurt mercantile family of Schuster was judel joseph schuster (d. 1782), who started a cotton-goods business in 1750. It was enlarged by his son, samuel judah, who in 1786 established the firm of Gebrueder Schuster. By the time Samuel Judah's eldest son, joseph samuel (1785–1858), became the head of the firm, it was doing a considerable amount of trade with England, and violated the restrictions imposed by Napoleon when he occupied Frankfurt. As a result of the penalties imposed, the Schusters decided to leave Germany. Two of Joseph Samuel's brothers, leo and samuel, emigrated to England in 1808, while the youngest brother henry moved to Brussels, although his son louis followed his uncles to England. Joseph Samuel stayed behind to wind up the business and in the event remained in Frankfurt and carried on Gebrueder Schuster as a banking house. Joseph Samuel's son, francis joseph schuster (1823–1906), was a citizen of considerable standing in Frankfurt, where among his activities was directorship of the Municipal Bank. In 1869, not wishing to become a Prussian citizen after the city's annexation, he too decided to emigrate to England. Like his uncles before him, he started his new life in Manchester and then moved to London, where he became a partner in the firm of Schuster, Son and Co., merchants and bankers. Francis Joseph's three sons were ernest joseph schuster (1850–1924), Sir Arthur *Schuster (1851–1934), a noted mathematical physicist, and sir felix schuster (1854–1936; see below). It is not known if they abandoned Judaism before leaving Germany, but none of them had any connection with the Jewish community in England. Ernest Joseph was a partner in the family firm for many years before becoming a member of the bar. He was an authority on international law and lectured for the Institute of Bankers and the London School of Economics. Felix Schuster, the youngest of Francis Schuster's three sons, became a leading figure in British banking and played an important part in the direction of the country's finances during World War i. He joined the family firm at the age of 19 and was a partner at 24. Part of the business was taken over in 1887 by the Union of London and Smith's Bank, of which he was governor from 1895 until, in 1918, it merged with the National Provincial Bank. Sir Felix – he had been created a baronet in 1906 – became a director and one of the two alternating chairmen of the great new concern. Among the many public offices he held was membership of the Council of India (1906–16). Another member of the family to achieve distinction was claude schuster, first baron schuster (1869–1956), a grandson of Leo Schuster. A barrister educated at Winchester and Oxford, he was head of the legal branch of the Board of Education and several other governmental bodies, and from 1915 to 1944 was clerk of the crown in Chancery and permanent secretary to the Lord Chancellor. In 1944–47 he was head of the Allied Control Commission in Austria. He was knighted in 1913 and made a peer in 1944. Ernest Schuster's son sir george ernest schuster (1881–1982), educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, was a major figure in the British administration in India, serving as finance minister in the Viceroy's Council in 1928–34. From 1938 to 1945 he was a Liberal National member of Parliament. In 1961 he was one of the founders of Voluntary Service Overseas and was later involved in the creation of Atlantic College. His autobiography, Private Work and Public Causes (1979), appeared when he was 98.

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