Robert Smith, 1st Baron Carrington

22nd Jan 1752 - 18th Sep 1838

Claimant or beneficiary


Will proved 1838, left £120,000 personalty.

Born, Nottingham on 22 January 1752; eldest surviving (and 3rd) son of Abel Smith (1717?–1788), banker and merchant, of Nottingham and London, MP 1774-88, who left £59,573 plus land in Britain and an estate in Jamaica. His mother was Mary, daughter Thomas Bird of Barton, Warwickshire, silk manufacturer. Became a partner in his father's banking firm of Smith, Payne & Co. of Nottingham. On the death of his elder brother Abel in 1779 he succeeded him as MP for Nottingham, which he represented in five successive parliaments. Married on 6 July 1780 Anne (d. 1827), eldest daughter of Lewyns Boldero Barnard of Cave Castle, Yorkshire; one son and eleven daughters. Smith succeeded as head of the banking firm after his father's death in 1788.

Robert Smith's property included an estate at Wycombe in Buckinghamshire (Wycombe Abbey), which he bought from Lord Lansdowne.

As an MP was a follower and close friend of William Pitt the younger, supporting him through his pocket boroughs of Midhurst and Wendover. In reward he was created, 11 July 1796, Baron Carrington of Bulcot Lodge in the Irish peerage of Ireland; 20 October 1797 created Baron Carrington of Upton, Nottinghamshire, in the United Kingdom peerage.

1802 appointed captain of Deal by Pitt (who was warden of the Cinque Ports); 1803 became lieutenant-colonel of the 2nd battalion of the Cinque Ports Volunteers.

After Pitt's death a supporter of Lord Grenville and then a 'mainstream' Tory.

DCL of Oxford in 1810 and LLD of Cambridge in 1819; a vice-president of the Literary Fund, Fellow of the Royal Society (1800), and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (1812).

In his 83rd year married his second wife, Charlotte (1770–1849), widow of the Revd Walter Trevelyan of Henbury, Gloucestershire, and third daughter of John Hudson of Bessingby, Yorkshire, at Bath on 19 January 1836.

Died at his house, 26 St James's Place, Whitehall, on 18 September 1838; buried at High Wycombe on 3 October. Succeeded by his son, Robert John Smith (1796–1868), who took the name Carrington (as 2nd Baron Carrington) instead of Smith by royal licence.

His descendants include his grandson Robert Wynn Carrington, 3rd Baron Carrington, Liberal politician, Earl Carrington (created 1895), Marquess of Lincolnshire (1912) and his great-great-grandson Peter Carrington, 6th Baron Carrington (1919-2018), Conservative politician, Defence Secretary (1970-1974), Foreign Secretary (1979-1982), and Secretary General of NATO (1984-1988).


T71/852 St Catherine claim no. 538 (Farm Pen).

William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders Volume One 1809-1839 (London, Social Affairs Unit, 2009) reference 1838/33.

Jacob M. Price, Abel Smith: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004), accessed 10/08/2012; A. F. Pollard, ‘Smith, Robert, first Baron Carrington (1752–1838)’, rev. Stephen M. Lee, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2009, accessed 24 July 2014; The Peerage: Robert Carrington, [accessed 01/10/2010]; Boyle's Directory (1835).

Further Information

(1) Anne Boldero-Barnard (6/7/1780) (2) Charlotte Hudson (19/1/1836!)
Included Catherine Lucy, Hester Frances, Emily, Charlotte Elizabeth, Harriet, Robert John 2nd Baron (1796-1868)
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (1)

£4,908 8s 5d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (6)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1807 [EA] - 1807 [LA] → Joint owner
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1798 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1776 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder
1817 [EA] - → Owner
1799 [EA] - 1819 [LA] → Not known

Legacies Summary

Commercial (1)

Senior partner

Cultural (4)

Literary Fund...... 
notes →
Dates of Vice-Presidency not...
London Institution...... 
Royal Society...... 
notes →
For the full record of Smith's membership of the Royal Society see Royal Society:...
Society of Antiquaries...... 

Physical (2)

Wycombe Abbey 
description →
Landscaping by Humphry Repton recorded as inconclusively demonstrated in the ‘Gazetteer compiled with John Phibbs’ in Stephen Daniels, Humphry Repton, Landscape Gardening and the Geography of...
Country house
Wycombe Abbey [Built] 
description →
Country house rebuilt and extended by James Wyatt for Robert Smith c. 1803-1804 after the latter bought the Loakes estate c. 1798. Now the famous girls'...

Political (2)

office →
President of Board of Agriculture
1800 - 1803
Pittite Tory 
election →
Nottingham Nottinghamshire
1779 - 1797

Relationships (2)


Addresses (2)

26 St James's Place, St James, London, Middlesex, London, England
Upton, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England