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Smith, Charles Harriot (DNB00)


SMITH, CHARLES HARRIOT (1792–1864), architect, born in London on 1 Feb. 1792, was the son of Joseph Smith, monumental sculptor, of Portland Road, Marylebone. Leaving school at the age of twelve, he entered his father's business, employing himself in drawing and modelling after working hours. In 1813 he became a life member of the Society of Arts, and in the following year entered the Royal Academy, where he passed through all the classes, and in 1817 obtained the academy gold medal for his ‘Design for a Royal Academy.’ Acquiring a knowledge of geology, mineralogy, and chemistry, he became an authority on building stones, and was in 1836 appointed one of the four commissioners for the selection of a suitable stone for the new houses of parliament. Smith executed the ornamental stone-carving of the Royal Exchange, of the National Gallery, and of Dorchester and Bridgewater houses. In 1855 he was elected a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He died in London on 21 Oct. 1864, leaving one son, Percy Gordon Smith, architect for many years to the local government board. Smith contributed numerous sessional papers to the Royal Institute of British Architects, of which the most important was entitled ‘Lithology, or Observations on Stone used for Buildings,’ 1842. He also wrote an essay on linear and aërial perspective for Arnold's ‘Library of the Fine Arts.’ He frequently exhibited in the Royal Academy designs in architecture, portrait-busts, and monumental compositions.

[Dict. of Arch. 1887, vii. 93; Builder, 5 Nov. 1864; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Journal of Society of Arts, 16 Dec. 1864; Gent. Mag. 1864, ii. 805; Papers read at the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1864–5, p. 8.]

E. I. C.