Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Smith, Edward (1665-1720)

619274Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 53 — Smith, Edward (1665-1720)1898Edward Irving Carlyle

SMITH or SMYTH, EDWARD (1665–1720), bishop of Down and Connor, born at Lisburn in Antrim in 1665, was the son of James Smyth of Mountown, co. Down, by his wife Francisca, daughter of Edward Dowdall of Mountown. He became a scholar at Dublin University in 1678, and graduated B.A. in 1681. In 1684 he proceeded M.A. and was elected a fellow. He afterwards obtained the degrees of LL.B. in 1687, B.D. in 1694, and D.D. in 1696. In 1689, when Dublin was in possession of James II, he fled to England, where he was recommended to the Smyrna Company, and made chaplain to their factory at Smyrna. He returned to England in 1693 with a considerable private fortune, and was appointed chaplain to William III, whom he attended for four years during the war in the Low Countries. On 3 March 1695–6 he was made dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin. In 1697 he became vice-chancellor of Dublin University, and on 2 April 1699 he was consecrated bishop of Down and Connor. He died at Bath on 4 Nov. 1720. He was twice married. By his first wife, his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of William Smyth, bishop of Kilmore, he had Elizabeth, who married James, first earl of Courtown. By his second wife Mary, daughter of Clotworthy Skeffington, third viscount Massereene [q. v.], he had two sons, Skeffington Randal and James.

Smyth was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1695. He was also a member of the Philosophical Society of Dublin. He was the author of several sermons, and contributed various papers to the ‘Philosophical Transactions’ of the Royal Society, chiefly relating to oriental usages.

[Ware's Irish Bishops, ed. Harris, p. 214; Ware's Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, p. 273; Thomson's Hist. of the Royal Soc. App. iv.; Pearson's Chaplains to the Levant Company, 1883, p. 34; Burke's Landed Gentry, 6th edit. ii. 1482.]

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