Smith, Jeremiah (1771-1854) (DNB00)

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SMITH, JEREMIAH (1771–1854), master of Manchester grammar school, son of Jeremiah and Ann Smith, was born at Brewood, Staffordshire, on 22 July 1771, and educated under Dr. George Croft at Brewood school. He entered Hertford College, Oxford, in 1790, and graduated B.A. in 1794, M.A. in 1797, B.D. in 1810, and D.D. in 1811. He was ordained in 1794 to the curacy of Edgbaston, Birmingham, which he soon exchanged for that of St. Mary's, Moseley. He was also assistant, and then second master, in King Edward's School, Birmingham; and on 6 May 1807 was appointed high master of the Manchester grammar school, a position he retained for thirty years. An enduring memorial of the success which distinguished his career as a schoolmaster exists in the third volume of the ‘Admission Register of the Manchester School,’ which was edited by his eldest son. While at Manchester he held successively the curacies of St. Mark's, Cheetham Hill, St. George's, Carrington, and Sacred Trinity, Salford, and the incumbency of St. Peter's, Manchester (1813–25), and the rectory of St. Ann's in the same town (1822–1837). He also held the small vicarage of Great Wilbraham, near Cambridge, from 1832 to 1847, and was from 1824 one of the four ‘king's preachers’ for Lancashire, a sinecure office which was abolished in 1845. His sole publication was a sermon preached before the North Worcester volunteers in 1805.

He died at Brewood on 21 Dec. 1854. There is a portrait of him, from a miniature by G. Hargreaves, in the ‘History of the Foundations in Manchester’ (vol. ii. 1831), and in the ‘Manchester School Register’ (vol. iii.). Another portrait, by Colman, is in the possession of the family.

He married, at King's Norton, Worcestershire, on 27 July 1811, Felicia, daughter of William Anderton of Moseley Wake Green, by whom he had eight children.

His eldest son, Jeremiah Finch Smith (1815–1895), was rector of Aldridge, Staffordshire, from 1849, rural dean of Walsall from 1862, and prebendary of Lichfield Cathedral. He published, besides many sermons and tracts, the valuable and admirably edited ‘Admission Register of the Manchester School,’ 3 vols., 1866–1874, and ‘Notes on the Parish of Aldridge, Staffordshire,’ 1884–9, 2 pts. (Manchester Guardian, 17 Sept. 1895).

The third son, James Hicks Smith (1822–1881), barrister-at-law, was author of: 1. ‘Brewood, a Résumé, Historical and Topographical,’ 1867. 2. ‘Reminiscences of Thirty Years, by an Hereditary High Churchman,’ 1868. 3. ‘Brewood Church, the Tombs of the Giffards,’ 1870. 4. ‘The Parish in History, and in Church and State,’ 1871. 5. ‘Collegiate and other Ancient Manchester,’ 1877 (Manchester Guardian, 4 Jan. 1882; Church Review, 6 Jan. 1882).

Isaac Gregory Smith (b. 1827), prebendary of Hereford Cathedral, and John George Smith (b. 1829), barrister-at-law, were respectively fourth and fifth sons.

[Manchester School Register (Chetham Soc.), vol. iii.; Simms's Bibliotheca Staffordiensis, 1894.]

C. W. S.