Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/140

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Smith
Smith
134

Newfoundland fisheries; but Charnock's statement that while in command of her he was tried by court-martial on a charge of converting the ship's stores to his own use appears to be unfounded. In October 1742 he was appointed to the Princess Mary, which in 1744 was one of the fleet under Sir John Norris [q. v.] off Dungeness, and afterwards under Sir Charles Hardy (the elder) [q. v.], and Sir John Balchen [q. v.] on the coast of Portugal. From the Princess Mary Smith was appointed in November 1744 to the Royal Sovereign, as commodore and commander-in-chief in the Downs, and during July and August 1745, off Ostend. In September 1745 he was appointed commander-in-chief at the Nore; and on 11 Feb. 1745–6 commander-in-chief at Leith and on the coast of Scotland, with the special duty of preventing communication between Scotland and France. He held this post till January 1746–7, when he was placed on half-pay. On 15 July 1747 he was promoted to be rear-admiral of the red, and on 18 May 1748 to be vice-admiral of the white. In August 1755 he was appointed commander-in-chief in the Downs, where he was promoted on 8 Dec. 1756 to be vice-admiral of the red, and on 24 Feb. 1757 to be admiral of the blue.

When on 28 Dec. 1756 the court-martial was convened at Portsmouth for the trial of Admiral John Byng [q. v.], Smith, as the senior flag-officer available, was appointed president, and as such had the duty of pronouncing the sentence on 27 Jan. 1757, and of forwarding the recommendation to mercy. When the question of absolving the members of the court from their oath of secrecy came before the House of Commons, Smith wrote to his half-brother, Sir Richard Lyttelton, begging him to support the application. Similarly, he wrote to Lord Lyttelton; but when examined before the House of Lords and asked if he desired the bill to pass, replied, ‘I have no desire for it myself. It will not be disagreeable to me, if it will be a relief to the consciences of any of my brethren.’ In October 1758 he retired from active service, and died on 28 Aug. 1762. He was not married. He is described by Walpole, when before the House of Lords, as ‘a grey-headed man, of comely and respectable appearance, but of no capacity.’ There is, in fact, no reason to suppose that he was more than a good average officer; his peculiar fame is entirely based on the exaggerated report of the Gosport-Gironde incident, which in itself seems to have been caused primarily by a misunderstanding of instructions.

Smith's portrait, by Richard Wilson, R.A., is in the Painted Hall at Greenwich; it has been engraved.

[The memoir in Charnock's Biogr. Nav. iv. 209, is grossly inaccurate; the facts are here given from the official documents in the Public Record Office, and especially, copy of the complaint of M. de Joyeux, captain of the Gironde, in Home Office Records, Admiralty, No. 55; Burchett to Drake, 4 Feb. 1728–9, in Secretary's Letter-Book, No. 86, p. 347; Drake to Burchett, 7 Feb., in Home Office Records, Admiralty, No. 66; Smith to Burchett, 23 Feb. 1728–9, ib.; Admiralty report on the case, 3 March, ib.; Duke of Newcastle to the Admiralty, 27 March 1729, in Secretary of State's Letters, Admiralty, No. 21; Commission and Warrant books, Paybooks, &c.; see also Beatson's Nav. and Mil. Memoirs; Walpole's Memoirs of George II, ii. 359; Shenstone's Poems, 1778, i. 187.]

J. K. L.


SMITH, THOMAS (d. 1767), landscape-painter, was born and chiefly resided at Derby. He was self-taught, but attained to considerable proficiency, and, as one of the earliest delineators of the beauties of English scenery, enjoyed a great reputation in his day. He was generally called ‘Smith of Derby’ to distinguish him from the Smiths of Chichester. He painted views of the most interesting and picturesque places in Derbyshire, Yorkshire, and other parts, many plates from which, by Vivarès, Elliott, Scotin, and other able engravers, were published by himself and Boydell. A collection of these, with the title ‘Recueil de 40 vues du Pic de Derby et autres lieux peintes par Smith et gravées par Vivarès et autres,’ was issued in 1760. In 1769 Boydell published a set of four views of Rome, painted by Smith from sketches by James Basire (1730–1802) [q. v.]; also six plates from his designs illustrating the mode of training racehorses. Smith handled the graver himself, and in 1751 produced a ‘Book of Landskips;’ he also engraved from his own pictures a set of four views of the lakes of Cumberland, 1767. He died at the Hot Wells, Bristol, on 12 Sept. 1767. Smith had two sons, Thomas Correggio and John Raphael Smith [q. v.]; the former practised for some years as a miniature-painter, and died at Uttoxeter in middle life; the latter is separately noticed.

[Edwards's Anecdotes of Painting; Mason's Gray, 1827, p. 308; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon.]

F. M. O'D.


SMITH, THOMAS ASSHETON (1776–1858), sportsman, son of Thomas Assheton Smith (1752–1828), was born in Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square, London, on 2 Aug. 1776 [for ancestry see Smith, John, (1655–1723)]. He was educated at Eton (1783–94),