Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/24

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


ment by Augustus Smith,’ 1866. In 1870 he obtained an injunction against any future enclosure of the common. From 1868 to 1872 he was engaged in controversy with the board of trade and Trinity House on lightships and pilotage.

Smith's action at Scilly, though despotic in character, was attended by beneficent results. The church at St. Mary's, the principal island, was completed at his expense, and when that at St. Martin's was nearly destroyed by lightning in 1866, it was rebuilt mainly at his cost. He built a pier at Hugh Town in St. Mary's, and constructed for his own habitation the house of Tresco Abbey, with its grounds and fishponds. His ‘red geranium beds’ are described as ‘a fine blaze of colour a mile off at sea’ (Mortimer, Princess Clarice, i. 97). He consolidated the farm-holdings and rebuilt the homesteads, but would not allow the admittance of a second family in any dwelling; he weeded out the idle, and stringently enforced education. These improvements cost 80,000l., and during the first twelve years of his term absorbed the whole of the revenue. They were set out by him in a tract entitled ‘Thirteen Years' Stewardship of the Isles of Scilly,’ 1848, and were described by J. A. Froude in his address at the Philosophical Institution at Edinburgh on 6 Nov. 1876 ‘On the Uses of a Landed Gentry’ (Short Studies on Great Subjects, 3rd ser. p. 275).

Smith contested in 1852, in the liberal interest, the borough of Truro in Cornwall, but was defeated by eight votes. In 1857 he was returned without a contest, and he represented the constituency until 1865, by which time his views had been modified. He was president of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall at Penzance from 1858 to 1864, and he held the presidency of the Royal Institution of Cornwall at Truro from November 1863 to November 1865. His addresses and papers for these societies are specified in the ‘Bibliotheca Cornubiensis.’ As provincial grandmaster for the freemasons of Cornwall from July 1863, he promoted the establishment of a county fund for aged and infirm freemasons. After a severe illness he died at the Duke of Cornwall hotel, Plymouth, on 31 July 1872, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Buryan, Cornwall, on 6 Aug. His will and seven codicils were proved in March 1873, and the lesseeship in the Scilly Isles was left to his nephew, Thomas Algernon Smith-Dorrien-Smith. A statue of him stands on the hill above Tresco Gardens.

Smith compiled a ‘True and Faithful History of the Family of Smith’ from Nottinghamshire, which was printed in 1861. He explained his views on parliamentary reform in ‘Constitutional Reflections on the present Aspects of Parliamentary Government,’ 1866.

[Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. ii. 660–661, 671, iii. 992, 1004, 1337; Boase's Collectanea Cornub. pp. 905, 1463; Parochial Hist. of Cornwall, iv. 342–8; Illustrated London News, lxii. 318; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Freemason, v. 477, 489–90.]

W. P. C.

SMITH, BENJAMIN (d. 1833), engraver, was a pupil of Francesco Bartolozzi [q. v.], and practised wholly in the dot or stipple manner. For some years he was largely employed by the Boydells, for whom all his important plates were executed; these include five after Romney, T. Banks, and M. Browne, for the large ‘Shakespeare’ series; Sigismunda after Hogarth, 1795; the portrait of Hogarth with his dog Trump, 1795; portrait of Lord Cornwallis, after Copley, 1798; portrait of George III, after Beechey (frontispiece to Boydell's ‘Shakespeare;’ portrait of Napoleon, after Appiani; ‘The Ceremony of administering the Oath to Alderman Newnham at the Guildhall,’ after W. Miller, 1801; and several allegorical and biblical subjects after John Francis Rigaud [q. v.] and Benjamin West [q. v.] Among Smith's smaller plates, some of which he published himself, are portraits of Lord Charlemont; Barrymore and William Smith, the actors; and Charles and Anne Dibdin. His latest work, ‘Christ and his Disciples at Emmaus,’ after Guercino, is dated 1825. He died in very reduced circumstances in Judd Place, London, in 1833. Among his pupils were William Holl the elder [q. v.], Henry Meyer [q. v.], and Thomas Uwins [q. v.] A watercolour portrait of Smith is in the print-room of the British Museum.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

F. M. O'D.

SMITH, formerly Schmidt, BERNARD (1630?–1708), called ‘Father Smith,’ organ-builder, born about 1630 in Germany, probably learnt his art from Christian Former of Wettin, near Halle (Rimbault). Accompanied by his nephews, Smith settled in England in response to the encouragement held out to foreigners to revive organ-building in this country. Upon his arrival, about 1660, Smith proceeded to erect an organ for the then banqueting-room of Whitehall. The specification of this, his earliest work, is given in Grove's ‘Dictionary’ (ii. 591). His appointment as organ-maker in ordinary to Charles II would date from this period, together with a grant