Oliver Goldsmith (10 November 1730 or 1728 – 4 April 1774) was an Anglo-Irish writer, poet, and physician known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770) (written in memory of his brother), and his plays The Good-Natur'd Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1771, first performed in 1773). (He is also thought to have written the classic children's tale, The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, giving the world that familiar phrase.)
Goldsmith's birth date and year are not known with certainty. According to the Library of Congress authority file, he told a biographer that he was born on 29 November, 1731, or perhaps in 1730. Other sources have indicated 10 November, on any year from 1727 to 1731.10 November, 1730, is now the most commonly accepted birth date.
Neither is the location of his birthplace certain. He was born either in the townland of Pallas, near Ballymahon, County Longford, Ireland, where his father was the Anglican curate of the parish of Forgney, or at the residence of his maternal grandparents, at the Smith Hill House in the diocese of Elphin, County Roscommon where his grandfather Oliver Jones was a clergyman and master of the Elphin diocesan school. When he was two years old, Goldsmith's father was appointed the rector of the parish of "Kilkenny West" in County Westmeath. The family moved to the parsonage at Lissoy, between Athlone and Ballymahon, and continued to live there until his father's death in 1747.