Born in London in 1831 of German ancestry, Goschen undertook a business career before entering parliament, serving as a Director of the Bank of England and Chairman of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Elected as Liberal MP for the City of London in 1863, Goschen served in several junior posts before entering the cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster under Russell. In Gladstone’s first government, he served as President of the Poor Law Board and First Lord of the Admiralty, however he was increasingly out of sympathy with the direction the Liberal Party was taking and refused to serve in Gladstone’s second administration, joining the Liberal Unionists. In 1887 Goschen accepted an invitation from Conservative Prime Minister Lord Salisbury to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer, later returning to his old post at the Admiralty. Following the election of Joseph Chamberlain as Liberal Unionist leader, Goschen – never a Chamberlain fan – left the party for the Conservatives.