John Smith

6th Sep 1767 - 20th Jan 1842

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

Though associated with the counterclaim of  the Smiths on Jamaica, St Elizabeth: 535A-C, not clear whether John Smith benefited directly. See claim notes.

Banker and politician.

Son of Abel Smith, Nottingham banker and MP for Aldborough, St Ives, and St Germans, and the brother of George, Robert, 1st Baron Carrington, and Samuel Smith.

Married:

(1) Sarah Boone, daughter of Thomas Boone, commissioner of customs. 1 December 1793-23 September 1794, when Sarah died;
(2) Mary Tucker, daughter of Lt.-Col. Martin Tucker. 6 January 1800-9 April 1809, when Mary died. Two sons: John Abel Smith (1802–1871), who succeeded him as MP for Midhurst, and Martin Tucker Smith (1803–1890), who became MP for Wycombe;
(3) Emma Leigh, daughter of Egerton Leigh of West Hall, High Leigh, Cheshire. 2 daughters.

On his death, his real estate was divided between John Abel Smith and Martin Tucker Smith, and left personalty sworn under £250,000.

‘One of the City’s most eminent bankers’; he and his brother George were in effective control of the London bank of Smith, Payne and Smith from 1799; he was also on the boards of the family concerns in Derby, Hull and Nottingham.

Many of his speeches in Parliament were concerned with  banking and financial matters, his views taking a Whig and Ricardian outlook. He was also concerned with the conditions of the poor and adopted a broadly sympathetic view of Irish issues. He was also pro-Catholic Relief, Parliamentary Reform, the rights of dissenters and Jews, and anti-slavery. He was among the ‘staunch friends’ of the abolition of the slave trade, 1807 and in 1830 was presenting petitions calling for the abolition of slavery. For some more details see political legacies.

In 1806, Smith served as a Manager of the newly formed London Institution. He was also closely involved with the establishment and funding of University College London. (See Cultural legacies.]

His commercial activities included being a director of the West India Dock Company (1804-1811, 1817-1824, 1828-1830, 1832-34, 1837-1838), deputy chairman, 1812-1813, and chairman, 1814. He was also a founder and director of the Imperial Insurance Co. (Imperial Fire Insurance Co.) in 1813-31; 1831-1834, 1836-1840.

His great-grandson Vivian Hugh Smith was created Baron Bicester in 1938.

Sources

Thorne (ed.), House of Commons, 1790-1820, vol. V; Fisher (ed.), House of Commons 1820-1832, vol. 7.


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Spouse
(1) Sarah Boone; (2) Mary Tucker; (3) Emma Leigh
Children
2 sons with Mary Tucker; 2 daughters with Emma Leigh
Occupation
Banker and politician

Associated Claims (1)

£2,074 14S 10D
Beneficiary

Legacies Summary

Commercial (3)

Director
West India Dock Co.
Dock Company  
 
Name partner
 
Director
Imperial Fire
Insurance  
 
notes →
Smith a director of the Imperial Insurance Co. (Imperial Fire) in 1813; and see also notes on Imperial...

Cultural (1)

Council member
University of London (University College, London)...... 
notes →
Statement by the Council of the University of London, Explanatory of the Nature and Objects of the Institution (London, Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green / John Murray,...

Political (3)

Government
 
office →
Treasurer, Board of Agriculture
1807 - 1816
office →
Commissioner of exchange bills and loans
1818 - 1840
MP
Whig 
election →
Wendover Buckinghamshire
1802 - 1806
election →
Nottingham Nottinghamshire
1806 - 1818
election →
Midhurst Sussex
1818 - 1830
election →
Chichester Sussex
1830 - 1831
election →
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire
1831 - 1834