Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/23

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

in Glasgow University. Archibald entered Glasgow University in 1828, and distinguished himself in classics, mathematics, and physics. He proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge, whence he graduated B.A. in 1836 and M.A. in 1839. In 1836 he was senior wrangler and first Smith's prizeman, and was elected a fellow of Trinity College. He entered the society of Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar in Hilary term 1841. He practised for many years as an equity draughtsman in Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, and became an eminent real-property lawyer. While still an undergraduate Smith communicated to the Cambridge Philosophical Society a paper on Fresnel's wave-surface, in which he deduced its algebraical equations by the symmetrical method, one of the first instances of its employment in analytical geometry in England. In November 1837, in conjunction with Duncan Farquharson Gregory [q. v.], he founded the Cambridge ‘Mathematical Journal.’ Between 1842 and 1847 Smith, at the request of General Sir Edward Sabine [q. v.], deduced from Poisson's general equation practical formulæ for the correction of observations made on board ship, which Sabine published in the ‘Transactions’ of the Royal Society. In 1851 he deduced convenient tabular forms from the formulæ, and in 1859 he edited the ‘Journal of a Voyage to Australia,’ by William Scoresby the younger [q. v.], giving in the introduction an exact formula for the effect of the iron of a ship on the compass. In 1862, in conjunction with Sir Frederick John Owen Evans [q. v.], he published an ‘Admiralty Manual for ascertaining and applying the Deviations of the Compass caused by the Iron in a Ship’ (London, 8vo). This work was translated into French, German, Russian, and Spanish. In recognition of his services Smith received the honorary degree of LL.D. from the university of Glasgow in 1864, and in the following year was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Society, of which he had been elected a fellow on 5 June 1856. In 1872 he received a grant of 2,000l. from government. In addition he was elected a corresponding member of the scientific committee of the imperial Russian navy. Smith died in London on 26 Dec. 1872. In 1853 he married Susan Emma, daughter of Sir James Parker of Rothley Temple, Leicestershire. By her he had six sons and two daughters. His eldest son, James Parker Smith, is M.P. for the Partick division of Lanarkshire. A portrait is prefixed to the Russian edition of the ‘Manual on the Deviation of the Compass.’

Besides the works mentioned, Smith was the author of: 1. ‘Supplement to the Rules for ascertaining the Deviations of the Compass caused by the Ship's Iron,’ London, 1855, 8vo. 2. ‘A Graphic Method of correcting the Deviations of a Ship's Compass,’ London, 1855, 8vo.

[Proceedings of the Royal Society, vol. xxii. App. pp. i–xxiv; biographical sketch prefixed to the Russian edition of Smith's Manual on the Deviation of the Compass, St. Petersburg, 1865; Ward's Men of the Reign; Irving's Book of Scotsmen; Law Times, 11 Jan. 1873; Gent. Mag. 1867, i. 393; Burke's Landed Gentry, 8th edit.; Luard's Grad. Cantabr.]

E. I. C.

SMITH, AUGUSTUS JOHN (1804–1872), lessee of the Scilly Islands, was son of James Smith (b. 1768, d. at Ashlyn Hall, Hertfordshire, on 16 Feb. 1843), by his second wife, Mary Isabella (b. 1784, d. Paris, 14 Feb. 1823), eldest daughter of Augustus Pechell of Great Berkhamstead. He was born in Harley Street, London, on 15 Sept. 1804, entered at Harrow school about 1814, and matriculated from Christ's Church, Oxford, on 23 April 1822, graduating B.A. on 23 Feb. 1826. By inheritance he was the owner of considerable property in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and he obtained a lease under the crown for ninety-nine years, contingent on three lives, from 10 Oct. 1834, of the Scilly Islands. For this lease he paid a fine of 20,000l., and undertook the payment of an annual rent of 40l. and of some stipends.

Very early in life Smith interested himself in the working of the poor laws, and advocated a system of national education on a broad basis. After the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832, when three members were assigned to Hertfordshire, he was asked to stand for that constituency, but declined the request. He published in 1836 an ‘Apology for Parochial Education on Comprehensive Principles’ as illustrated in the school of industry at Great Berkhamstead, in which he anticipated the adoption of a conscience clause, and in 1841, after having actively promoted for four years a suit in chancery, he obtained the reopening of the free grammar school at Great Berkhamstead. When the second Earl Brownlow enclosed with strong iron fences about a third of the common land of that parish which was in front of the earl's seat, Ashridge Park, Smith engaged a band of navvies from London who pulled the fences down. This incident attracted much attention at the time, and was the subject of a poem (‘A Lay of Modern England’) in ‘Punch’ for 24 March 1866. He vindicated his opposition to the enclosure in ‘Berkhamstead Common: State-