1839,’ London, 1840, 8vo. 3. ‘Hulsean Lectures for the Year 1840,’ London, 1841, 8vo. 4. ‘Remarks on the Influence of Tractarianism in promoting Secessions to the Church of Rome,’ London, 1851, 8vo. 5. ‘The Sacrifice of the Death of Christ,’ London, 1851, 12mo.
[Gent. Mag. 1852, ii. 97, 317; English Review, xvii. 445; Burke's Landed Gentry, ed. 1850, ii. 1599; information kindly supplied by the master of Queens' College, Cambridge.]
SMITH, Sir THOMAS (1513–1577), statesman, scholar, and author, eldest son of John Smith (d. 1557), by his wife, Agnes Charnock (d. 1547), a native of Lancashire, was born at Saffron Walden, Essex, on 23 Dec. 1513 (Archæologia, xxxviii. 104). The father, who claimed descent from Sir Roger de Clarendon, an illegitimate son of the Black Prince (Essex Visitations, Harl. Soc. pp. 710–11), was a man of wealth and position. In 1538–9 he served as sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire, and in 1545 the grant of a coat-of-arms was confirmed to him (Strype, Life of Sir T. Smith, pp. 2–3; see many references to him in Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, esp. vol. iv.). A younger brother, John, was mainly instrumental in procuring a charter of incorporation for Saffron Walden in 1549.
From Thomas's circumstantial account of his own infancy (extant in Addit. MS. 325), he appears to have been a child of weak health, but was strongly addicted to reading history, to painting, writing, and even to carving. He was educated at a grammar school (Letters and Papers, iv. 1314), probably at Saffron Walden, and before May 1525 was placed under the care of Henry Gold of St. John's College, Cambridge. Among other instructions as to his education, his father desired Gold to teach him ‘plain song, which, afore he went to grammar school, he could sing perfectly, and had some insight in his prick-song’ (ib.) In 1526 he entered Queens' College, and about Michaelmas 1527, apparently through Cromwell's influence, he was appointed king's scholar (ib. p. 3406). On 25 Jan. 1529–30, being then B.A., he was elected fellow of Queens'. He graduated M.A. in the summer of 1533, and in the following autumn, having been appointed a public reader or professor, he lectured on natural philosophy in the schools, and on Greek in his own rooms. Among his pupils were John Ponet [q. v.], afterwards bishop of Winchester, and Richard Eden [q. v.] In 1538 he became public orator, and soon afterwards came under the notice of Henry VIII, before whom, shortly after Queen Jane's death, he and his friend John Cheke [q. v.] declaimed on the question whether the king should marry an Englishwoman or a foreigner. In the same year he was sent by the university to ask the king to grant it one of the dissolved monasteries, and to found a college ‘as an eternal monument of his name’ (ib. XIII. ii. 496).
In May 1540 Smith went abroad to pursue his studies; he was not therefore, as Tanner says, the Thomas Smith, clerk of the council to the queen, who, with William Gray, late servant to Cromwell, was on 4 Jan. 1540–1 committed to the Fleet ‘for writing invectives against one another’ (Nicolas, Acts of the Privy Council, vii. 105, 107; Letters and Papers, xv. 21). After visiting Paris and Orleans, Smith proceeded to Padua, where he graduated D.C.L. On his return in 1542 he was incorporated LL.D. at Cambridge. Smith now took a leading part in reforming the pronunciation of Greek. The early renascence scholars had adopted, from modern Greeks, the corrupt method of pronouncing ἢ, ἔ, and ἴ all as ἴ, and Smith sought to restore the correct pronunciation of ἢ and ἔ. The attempt caused a prolonged agitation in the university; Smith, Cheke, and their adherents were called ‘etists,’ and their opponents ‘itists’ (Rowbotham's pref. to Comenius, Janua Linguarum; Hallam, Lit. of Europe, i. 340; A. J. Ellis, English Pronunciation of Greek, 1876, pp. 5–6). Gardiner, as chancellor of the university, ordered a return to the old pronunciation, and in reply Smith wrote an epistle to him dated 12 Aug. 1542, and subsequently published (Paris, 1568, 4to) under the title ‘De recta et emendata Linguæ Græcæ Pronuntiatione.’ To it was appended Smith's tract advocating a reform of the English alphabet, and extending the number of vowels to ten, a scheme of which is printed in the appendix to Strype's ‘Life of Smith,’ p. 183.
In January 1543–4 Smith was appointed regius professor of civil law at Cambridge; in the same year he served as vice-chancellor of the university, and became chancellor to Goodrich, bishop of Ely, by whom, in 1545, he was collated to the rectory of Leverington, Cambridgeshire, and in 1546 was ordained priest (Archæologia, xxxviii. 106). According to Smith's own statement, which is not confirmed by Le Neve, he received a prebend in Lincoln Cathedral. Shortly before the end of Henry's reign he was deputed by the university to secure Queen Catherine Parr's influence in preventing the acquisition of college property by the king.
Smith had early adopted protestant views, and had distinguished himself in protecting reformers at Cambridge from Gardiner's hostility. The accession of Edward VI accord-