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Smith, John Abel (DNB00)


SMITH, JOHN ABEL (1801–1871), banker and politician, born in 1801, was the eldest son of John Smith of Blendon Hall, Kent, a member of the banking family of which Robert Smith, first baron Carrington [q. v.], was the head. His mother was Mary, daughter of Lieutenant-colonel Tucker. He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge (B.A. in 1824 and M.A. in 1827), and joined the family banking firm of Smith, Payne, & Smith, of which he became chief partner. He entered parliament as M.P. for Midhurst in 1830, but at the general election in the following year he was returned for Chichester, for which he sat till 1859. He was again elected in 1863, and retained his seat till 1868, when the borough lost one of its representatives (Official Returns of Members of Parliament, vol. ii. index). A staunch liberal, he took an active part in the first Reform Bill, and was one of the leaders of the party which advocated the admission of Jews into parliament. In 1869 he introduced a bill for a further limitation of the hours during which public-houses might be kept open. He died on 7 Jan. 1871 at Kippington, near Sevenoaks. He was a magistrate for Middlesex and Sussex.

In 1827 he married Anne, daughter of Sir Samuel Clarke-Jervoise, bart., and widow of Ralph William Grey of Backworth House in Northumberland, by whom he had two sons, Jervoise, born in 1828, and Dudley Robert, born in 1830.

[Ward's Men of the Reign, p. 872; Times, 11 Jan. 1871; Burke's Landed Gentry, 4th edit.]

E. I. C.