His dislike of ceremonial observances attracted the notice of James I, Smith having allowed Gloucester Cathedral to fall into decay, while he retained the communion table in the middle of the choir. To correct these irregularities, James in 1616 appointed Laud to the deanery of Gloucester, with instructions to bring about a reformation. Laud, without consulting the bishop, summoned the chapter, and laid the king's commands before them. He induced them to give orders for the repair of the cathedral and for the removal of the communion table to the east end of the chancel. The consequence was a tumult among the townsfolk and the clergy of the district, which Smith aggravated by declaring that he would not enter the cathedral again till the causes of offence had been removed. Laud, however, secure of the countenance of the king, remained steadfast, and the puritans were obliged to relinquish a hopeless contest (Laud, Works, v. 495; Heylin, Cyprianus Anglicus, p. 70).
Smith died on 20 Oct. 1624 (Willis, Cathedrals, ‘Gloucester,’ p. 74; Le Neve, Fasti, i. 439). He was twice married. By his first wife, Mary Hawkins, of Cardiff, he had two sons: Gervase, of the Middle Temple, and Miles.
Smith was the author of a volume of sermons published in London (1632, fol.). He also edited the works of Gervase Babington [q. v.], bishop of Worcester (London, 1615, fol.), and wrote a commendatory preface to Babington's ‘Certaine plaine, briefe, and comfortable Notes upon every Chapter of Genesis’ (London, 1596, 4to). In 1602 one of Smith's sermons was published, without his consent, by Robert Burhill [q. v.], under the title of ‘A learned and godly Sermon, preached at Worcester, at an Assize, by the Rev. and learned Miles Smith, Doctor of Divinitie.’
A near kinsman of the bishop, Miles Smith (1618–1671), son of Miles Smith, a priest in Gloucester, matriculated from Magdalen College, Oxford, on 20 March 1634–5, graduated B.A. on 3 Dec. 1638, and was created B.C.L. on 4 Aug. 1646. From 1634 to 1641 he was a chorister at his college. He was a royalist, and, suffering for his opinions, became a retainer of Gilbert Sheldon [q. v.] On the latter being made archbishop of Canterbury in 1660, Smith became his secretary. He died on 17 Feb. 1670–1, and was buried in the chancel of Lambeth church. He was the author of ‘The Psalms of King David, paraphrased into English Meetre,’ London, 1668, 8vo. This was based on the ‘Paraphrase of the Psalms’ by Henry Hammond [q. v.] He had one son, Miles, a gentleman commoner of Trinity, who died at Oxford on 17 Oct. 1682 (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 951, and Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 94; Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714).
[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 359, 863; Stephens's Preface to Smith's Sermons; Funeral Sermon, by Thomas Prior, affixed to Smith's Sermons; Barksdale's Memoirs, decade 111; Lansdowne MS. 984, f. 39; Chambers's Biogr. Illustrations of Worcestershire, p. 84; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Fowler's History of Corpus Christi College, pp. 150, 156, 163; Anderson's Annals of the English Bible, ii. 376, 378.]
SMITH, Sir MONTAGU EDWARD (1809–1891), judge, was the eldest son of Thomas Smith, solicitor and town clerk of Bideford, Devonshire, by his wife, Margaret Colville, daughter of M. Jenkyn of St. Mawes, Cornwall, commander in the royal navy. He was born at Bideford on 25 Dec. 1809, and was educated at the grammar school of his native town. He started in life as an attorney, but was admitted to Gray's Inn on 11 Nov. 1830, and was called to the bar on 18 Nov. 1835. Smith joined the western circuit, and on 11 May 1839 was admitted to the Middle Temple. He was appointed a queen's counsel in Trinity vacation 1853, and was elected a bencher of the Middle Temple on 22 Nov. in that year. After unsuccessfully contesting Truro in January 1849 and July 1852, he was returned for that constituency in the conservative interest at the general election in April 1859. He occasionally spoke in the house on legal topics, but took little part in the debates. In the session of 1861 he brought in a bill for the limitation of crown suits (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. clxiii. 1584–6), which received the royal assent on 1 Aug. (24 & 25 Vict. cap. 62). In 1863, and again in 1864, he called the attention of the house to the insufficient accommodation in the law courts (Parl. Debates, 3rd ser. clxxii. 605–7, clxxvi. 363–6). He served as the treasurer of the Middle Temple in 1863. He was appointed a justice of the common pleas by Lord Westbury on 7 Feb. 1865, and duly received the order of the coif. He was knighted on 18 May following. After sitting in the common pleas for six years and a half he was (November 1871) appointed, under the provisions of 34 & 35 Vict. cap. 91, a member of the judicial committee of the privy council, with a salary of 5,000l. a year. He was appointed a commissioner under the Courts of Justice Building Act, 1865, on 29 June in that year (Parl. Papers, 1871, vol. xx.), and a member of the universities committee of the privy council