Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/106

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Smith
Smith
100

on 12 Dec. 1877 (London Gazette, 1877, ii. 7241). He resigned his judicial office on 12 Dec. 1881, and died, unmarried, at No. 32 Park Lane, London, on 3 May 1891.

Smith was a sound lawyer and a persuasive rather than an eloquent advocate. He excelled in clear analysis of facts and authorities, and made an accurate and painstaking judge.

[Ann. Reg. 1891, ii. 161; Men and Women of the Time, 13th edit. p. 832; Boase's Collect. Cornub. 1890, pp. 909–10; Foss's Biographia Juridica, 1870, p. 617; Foster's Register of Admissions to Gray's Inn, 1889, p. 441; Shaw's Inns of Court Calendar, 1878, p. 8; Foster's Men at the Bar, 1885, p. 434; Block's Table of Judges, &c., 1887, pp. 9, 16, 23; Times, 5 and 8 May 1891; McCalmont's Parliamentary Poll Book, 1879, p. 256; Dod's Parl. Companion, 1865, p. 290; Official Return of Lists of Members of Parliament, ii. 446; Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1890.]

G. F. R. B.

SMITH, PHILIP (1817–1885), writer on ancient history, son of William Smith of Enfield, and younger brother of Sir William Smith [q. v.], was born in 1817. He was educated at Mill Hill school, and entered Coward College as a student for the congregational ministry in April 1834. He graduated B.A. at London in May 1840. He was professor of classics and mathematics in Cheshunt College from 1840 to 1850, and pastor of the congregational church at Crossbrook from 1840 to 1845. From 1850 to 1852 he was first professor of mathematics and ecclesiastical history in New College, and from 1853 to 1860 headmaster of Mill Hill school. The remainder of his life was spent in writing for his brother's dictionaries and in historical work. He was editor of the ‘Biblical Review’ from 1846 to 1851, and a frequent contributor to the ‘Quarterly Review,’ while his brother William was its editor. He died at Putney on 12 May 1885. Smith published:

  1. ‘A Smaller History of England,’ London, 1862, 8vo; 28th edit. 1890.
  2. ‘A History of the Ancient World,’ the only portion published of a projected ‘History of the World,’ London, 1863–5, 8vo.
  3. ‘A Smaller Ancient History of the East,’ London, 1871, 8vo. 4. ‘The Student's Ancient History,’ London, 1871, 8vo.
  4. ‘The Student's Ecclesiastical History,’ London, 1878–1885, 8vo.

He also edited:

  1. ‘The Posthumous Works of John Harris, D.D.,’ 1857, 8vo.
  2. Schliemann's ‘Troy,’ 1875, 8vo.
  3. Brugsch's ‘History of Egypt,’ 1879, 8vo; new edit. 1881.

[Information communicated by Dr. Samuel Newth of Acton; Athenæum, 1885, i. 664; Times, 13 May 1885; Smith's Works.]

E. C. M.

SMITH, PLEASANCE, Lady (1773–1877), centenarian, fifth child of Robert (d. 15 July 1815, aged 76) and Pleasance (d. 27 March 1820, aged 81) Reeve of Lowestoft, Suffolk, was born at Lowestoft on 11 May 1773. Her mother shortly before marriage had recovered with difficulty from small-pox, having been treated by being wrapped in scarlet flannel and kept in a heated room without fresh air. The first child of her parents was Pleasance, born 1766, who lived five or six hours; the second, in 1767, a daughter, still-born; the third, in 1768, a son, who lived a few hours; the fourth, Robert, born in 1770, who died 9 May 1840. The family bible has this entry by the father: ‘11th May 1773.—The said Pleasance was delivered of a daughter about one in the afternoon, and [she] was baptized by the name of Pleasance.’ The Lowestoft parish register, under the heading ‘Christenings in Lowestoft, A.D. 1773,’ has the following at p. 393: ‘May 12.—Pleasance, daughter of Robert and Pleasance Reeve.—John Arrow, Vicar.’ Subsequently (1778) was born a son, James, who died 26 June 1827. Pleasance was trained by both her parents to a love of nature and of literature; her love of poetry was innate. She married, in 1796, (Sir) James Edward Smith [q. v.], had no child, and survived her husband nearly forty-nine years. Soon after her marriage she was painted, as a gipsy, by Opie. In 1804 William Roscoe [q. v.] wrote to his wife that ‘he who could see and hear Mrs. Smith without being enchanted has a heart not worth a farthing.’ The impression of her stately beauty in middle life is still a memory in Norwich, her home from 1797. In 1849 she removed to a house built by her father in High Street, Lowestoft. On her hundredth birthday in 1873 a dinner was given in the Public Hall, Lowestoft, to aged poor of the neighbourhood, and she received from the queen a copy of ‘Our Life in the Highlands,’ with the autograph inscription: ‘To Lady Smith, on her 100th birthday, from her friend Victoria R., May 11th, 1873.’ Up to this time she scarcely knew the meaning of illness; her colour was fresh, she had kept nearly all her teeth, and her eyes were bright, though the sight was beginning to fail. On 16 Feb. 1873 she had written: ‘I can yet see the landscape. This is a great alleviation, but I cannot see the lines I attempt to write.’ She continued, however, to write letters till barely a fortnight before her death. She had curious optical illusions, seeing spectral figures which enlarged as they receded; fortunately this only caused her amusement. Her hearing was almost unimpaired to the last,