Otway's ‘History and Fall of Caius Marius’ (long the accepted adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’), Beaufort in D'Urfey's ‘Virtuous Wife,’ Wellman in Mrs. Behn's ‘Revenge,’ and Marcian in Lee's ‘Theodosius.’ The year 1681 led off with the ‘First Part of Henry VI,’ altered by Crowne, in which Smith was the Duke of Suffolk. In the second part of the same play he was Edward Plantagenet. He was, besides, Edgar in Tate's alteration of ‘Lear,’ Willmore in the second part of Mrs. Behn's ‘Rover,’ Titus in Lee's ‘Lucius Junius Brutus,’ Courtine in Otway's ‘Soldier's Fortune,’ and Lorenzo in Dryden's ‘Spanish Friar.’ The following year (1682) witnessed the junction of the two companies. Before this event occurred Smith was, at Dorset Garden, the original Pierre in Otway's ‘Venice Preserved,’ Sir Charles Kinglove in D'Urfey's ‘Royalist,’ King Harry in Banks's ‘Virtue Betrayed, or Anna Bullen,’ Don Carlos in Mrs. Behn's ‘False Count,’ and Ramble in Ravenscroft's ‘London Cuckolds.’ After the union he was, at the Theatre Royal, Grillon in Dryden's ‘Duke of Guise.’
In the memorandum of agreement, 14 Oct. 1682, the name of Smith is joined with those of Dr. Charles D'Avenant [q. v.] and Thomas Betterton [q. v.] on the one side, as against Charles Hart (d. 1683) [q. v.] and Edward Kynaston [q. v.] on the other [see Betterton, Thomas]. Smith's connection with the united companies was soon severed, though the retirement of Harris left none but Betterton to dispute his supremacy. He played, at the Theatre Royal, Leon in ‘Rule a Wife and have a Wife,’ and Cassius in ‘Julius Cæsar,’ neither of them original parts; and was the first Constantine in Lee's ‘Constantine the Great,’ Courtine in Otway's ‘Atheist,’ and Lorenzo in Southerne's ‘Disappointment.’
After James II's accession his name disappears from the bills for eleven years. Cibber mentions the circumstances under which his retirement took place. Smith, ‘whose character as a gentleman could have been no way impeached had he not degraded it by being a celebrated actor,’ was struck behind the scenes by a man of fashion with whom he had a dispute. James II, on hearing a full account of the circumstances, forbade the offender his presence. This was resented by the mohocks of the court, and a party was formed to humble the actor. On his appearance Smith was received with a chorus of cat-calls. Convinced that he would not be allowed to proceed, he composedly ordered the curtain to be lowered, and ‘having a competent fortune of his own, thought the conditions of adding to it by his remaining on the stage even too dear, and from that day entirely quitted it’ (Cibber, Apology, ed. Lowe, i. 79). Smith is said to have been greatly attached to James II, whose army, according to Chetwood, the actor joined as a volunteer upon the outbreak of the revolution, in company with two attendants.
On the secession of the actors from the Theatre Royal in 1695, Smith was prevailed on by Betterton and Mrs. Barry, his old associates, as well as by friends of high rank, and at the direct intercession of Congreve, to return to the stage. On the opening of the theatre in Little Lincoln's Inn Fields, with Congreve's ‘Love for Love,’ Smith took the part of Scandal. He was received with much enthusiasm. In 1696 he played Warner in a revival of ‘Sir Martin Marrall,’ and was the original Cyaxares in Banks's ‘Cyrus the Great.’ On the day of the fourth representation he was taken ill, and died shortly afterwards (Genest, ii. 96).
Smith is believed to have had a commanding figure. What Otway says in ‘Venice Preserved’ of the figure of Pierre is supposed to depict Smith, who was intended for this part. Don Carlos, another of Smith's original parts, is described as a ‘tall able slave’ Barton Booth [q. v.] wrote a Latin epitaph on Smith, placed under ‘his picture.’ What portrait is referred to, however, cannot now be ascertained. Booth's lines describe him as an excellent player in the reign of Charles II, the friend of Betterton, and almost his equal; a man of no ignoble family nor destitute of polite learning. Smith's unbroken friendship with Betterton reflects high credit upon him, as does indeed all that is known concerning him. He is one of the most interesting and distinguished figures of the Restoration stage.
[Genest's Account of the English Stage (esp. ii. 97–8, with list of original parts); Downes's Roscius Anglicanus; Curll's History of the English Stage, assigned to Betterton; Cibber's Apology, ed. Lowe; Life of Barton Booth, by Theophilus Cibber; Chetwood's History of the Stage; Doran's Annals of the Stage, ed. Lowe.]
SMITH, WILLIAM (1651?–1735), antiquary, born about 1651, was the son of William Smith of Easby, near Richmond in Yorkshire, by his wife Anne, daughter of Francis Layton of Rawden, master of the jewel-house in the reign of Charles I. On 28 May 1668 William matriculated from University College, Oxford, and graduated B.A. in 1672, proceeding M.A. on 18 March 1674–5. In 1673 he was appointed rector of Goodmanham in Yorkshire, in 1675 elected a fellow of University College, and