Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/42

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


of its motion was also completely refuted, and its universal adoption for ships of war and ocean steamers became a mere question of time.

Smith acted as adviser to the admiralty until 1850, but derived from his work for the government and from his commercial operations very inadequate remuneration. In 1856 his patent—upon which an extension of time had been granted—expired, and he retired to Guernsey to devote himself once more to agriculture. But he was in 1860 compelled, by lack of pecuniary means, to accept the post of curator of the patent office museum, South Kensington. This office he held until his death. Some recognition of his services was made by Lord Palmerston in 1855, when a pension of 200l. was conferred upon him, and in 1857 he was the recipient at St. James's Hall of a national testimonial, comprising a service of plate and a purse of nearly 3,000l., which were subscribed for by the whole of the shipbuilding and engineering world. Later, in 1871, the honour of knighthood was conferred on him. He was an associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, member of the Institute of Naval Architects, and of the Royal Society of Arts for Scotland; also corresponding member of the American Institute. He died at South Kensington on 12 Feb. 1874. He was twice married: first, in 1830, to Ann, daughter of William Buck of Folkestone, by whom he had two sons; and secondly, in 1866, to Susannah, daughter of John Wallis of Boxley, Kent. His widow and two sons survived him.

[On the Introduction and Progress of the Screw Propeller, 1856 (consisting of biographical notices of Smith published in various journals in 1855); Woodcroft's Origin and Progress of Steam Navigation, 1848; Treatise on the Screw Propeller by Bourne; Smiles's Industrial Biogr.; Men of the Reign; Illustrated London News; Times, 17 Feb. 1874.]

W. F. W.


SMITH, GABRIEL (d. 1783), engraver, was born in London, and there obtained his earliest instruction. About 1760 he accompanied William Wynne Ryland [q. v.] to Paris, where he learnt the method of engraving in imitation of chalk drawings, and on his return to England executed a series of plates in this style from designs by Watteau, Boucher, Le Brun, Bouchardon, and others, which were published by J. Bowles with the title, ‘The School of Art, or most complete Drawing-book extant,’ 1765. In and about 1767 Smith engraved in the line manner, for Boydell, ‘Tobit and the Angel’ after Salvator Rosa, ‘The Blind leading the Blind’ after Tintoretto, ‘The Queen of Sheba's Visit to Solomon’ after E. Le Sueur, and ‘Boar Hunting’ after Snyders. He also engraved a portrait of the Rev. John Glen King, F.R.S., after Falconet, and etched, from his own drawings, ‘Mr. Garrick in the Character of Lord Chalkstone in the Farce of Lethe,’ and ‘Mr. Foote in the Character of the Englishman returned from Paris.’ He died in 1783.

[Strutt's Dict. of Engravers; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of Engravers in British Museum (Addit. MS. 33405); Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

F. M. O'D.


SMITH, GEORGE (1693–1756), nonjuring divine, son of John Smith (1659–1715) [q. v.], prebendary of Durham, was born at Durham on 7 May 1693, and was named after his godfather, Sir George Wheler of Charing, Kent, father-in-law of his uncle, Posthumus Smith (Smith MSS.) After receiving his early education at Westminster, where he boarded at the house of Hilkiah Bedford [q. v.], whose wife was sister of Smith's mother, Mary, daughter of William Cooper, he matriculated at Cambridge, as a pensioner of St. John's College, in 1709. His name, however, was on 15 Nov. 1710 entered at Queen's College, Oxford, where his uncle, Joseph Smith (1670–1756) [q. v.], afterwards provost, was then a fellow, and he matriculated there on 18 April 1711. His tutor was Edward Thwaites [q. v.], afterwards Regius professor of Greek and a considerable Anglo-Saxon scholar. He was for a time a student of the Inner Temple. On his father's death in 1715 he inherited a good fortune, and in 1717 bought New Burn Hall, near Durham, where he thenceforth resided, the adjoining estate of Old Burn Hall having been bought by his uncle Posthumus in 1715. He had studied Anglo-Saxon and early English history while at Oxford, and when only twenty-two undertook with modest misgiving to complete the edition of Bede's historical works, on which his father had laboured for many years, and left unfinished at his death. He carried out this difficult task with remarkable success, adding many valuable notes to his father's work. This splendid folio edition was published at Cambridge in 1722. He received orders in the nonjuring church, and in 1728 was consecrated bishop, with the denomination of Durham, by Henry Gandy and others of the section that rejected the ‘usages’ adopted by a portion of the nonjurors from the communion office of 1549. In 1731 he joined Thomas Brett [q. v.] in advocating a reunion among the nonjurors, and in answering a representation made by those opposed to it; and assisted the two Bretts, who