Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/287

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271
SMITH, W. F.—SMITH, W. R.

classics, and when he entered University College he carried off both the Greek and Latin prizes. He was entered at Gray's Inn in 1830, but gave up his legal studies for a post at University College school, and began to write on classical subjects. He next turned his attention to lexicography. His first attempt was the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, which appeared in 1842. The greater part of this was written by himself. In 1849 followed the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, and the Greek and Roman Geography in 1857. In this work some of the leading scholars of the day were associated with him. In 1850 he published the first of the school dictionaries; and in 1853 he began the Principia series, which marked a distinct step in the school teaching of Greek and Latin. Then came the Students' Manuals of History and Literature, in which the Greek history was the editor's own work. In carrying out this task Smith was most ably seconded by John Murray, the publisher, who, when the original publishers of the dictionaries got into difficulties, volunteered to take a share in the undertaking. The most important, perhaps, of the books edited by William Smith were those that dealt with ecclesiastical subjects. These were the Dictionary of the Bible (1860-1865); the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities (1875-1880), undertaken in collaboration with Archdeacon Cheetham; and the Dictionary of Christian Biography (1877-1887), jointly with Dr Henry Wace. The Atlas, on which Sir George Grove collaborated, appeared in 1875. From 1853 to 1869 Smith was classical examiner to the University of London, and on his retirement he became a member of the Senate. He sat on the Committee to inquire into questions of copyright, and was for several years registrar of the Royal Literary Fund. He edited Gibbon, with Guizot's and Milman's notes, in 1854-1855. In 1867 he became editor of the Quarterly Review, which he directed with marked success until his death on the 7th of October 1893, his remarkable memory and accuracy, as well as his tact and courtesy, specially fitting him for such a post. He was D.C.L. of Oxford and Dublin, and the honour of knighthood was conferred on him the year before his death.


SMITH, WILLIAM FARRAR (1824-1903), American general, was born at St Albans, Vermont, on the 17th of February 1824, and graduated from West Point in 1845, being assigned to the engineer branch of the army. He was twice assistant professor of mathematics at West Point (1846-1848 and 1855-1856). During the first campaign of the Civil War he was employed on the staff, in August 1861 became brigadier-general of volunteers, and was breveted lieutenant-colonel U.S.A. for his gallantry at the action of White Oak Swamp. In July 1862 he received promotion to the rank of major-general U.S.V. Smith led his division with conspicuous valour at Antietam, and was again breveted in the regular army. On the assignment of General Franklin to a superior command Smith was placed at the head of the VI. corps of the Army of the Potomac, which he led at the disastrous battle of Fredericksburg (q.v.). The recriminations which followed led to the famous general order in which several of the senior officers of the army were dismissed and suspended by General Burnside. Smith was one of these, but it is to his credit that he did not leave the army, and as a brigadier-general he commanded troops in Pennsylvania during the critical days of the Gettysburg campaign. Later in 1863 he was assigned to duty as chief engineer of the Army of the Cumberland. As such he conducted the engineer operations which reopened the " cracker-line " from Chattanooga (q.v.) to the base of supplies. Of this action the House Committee on military affairs reported in 1865 that " as a subordinate, General W. F. Smith had saved the Army of the Cumberland from capture, and afterwards directed it to victory." Smith was now again nominated for the rank of major-general U.S.V., and Grant, who was much impressed with Smith's work, insisted strongly that the nomination should be confirmed, which was accordingly done by the Senate in March 1864. Grant, according to his own statement, "was not long in rinding out that the objections to Smith's promotion were well grounded," but he never stated the grounds of his complaint, and Smith, in the "Battles and Leaders" series, maintained that they were purely of a personal character. For the Virginian campaign of 1864 Smith was specially assigned by Grant to command the XVIII. corps, Army of the James, and he took part in the battle of Cold Harbor and the first operations against Petersburg, after which, while absent on leave, he was suddenly deprived of his command by Grant. He resigned from the volunteers in 1865, and from the U.S. army in 1867. From 1864 to 1873 he was president of the International Telegraph Company, and in 1875-1881 served on the board of police commissioners of New York, becoming president of this in 1877. After 1881 he was engaged in civil engineering work. He died at Philadelphia on the 28th of February 1903.


SMITH, WILLIAM HENRY (1808-1872), English author, was born at Hammersmith, London, in 1808. He was educated at Radley School, and in 1821 was sent to Glasgow University. In 1823 he entered a lawyer's office, in which he remained for five years. He was called to the bar, but had no practice. He contributed to the Literary Gazette and to the Athenaeum, under the name of "Wool-gatherer," attracting some attention by the delicacy and finish of his style. Ernesto, a philosophical romance, appeared in 1835, two poems, Guidone and Solitude, in 1836, and in 1839 he formed a connexion with Blackwood's Magazine, for which he acted as philosophical critic for thirty years. In 1846 a visit to Italy led to the writing of a tale entitled Mildred, which was too purely reflective to be successful. In 1851 he declined the chair of moral philosophy at Edinburgh, being unwilling to abandon his quiet, studious life in the Lake District. There he completed his philosophic romance Thorndale (1857), which was considered at the time to be a work of real intellectual value. A similar production, Gravenhurst, appeared in 1862; a second edition contained a memoir of the author by his wife. Smith died at Brighton on 28th March 1872. He also wrote two plays, oneof which, Athelwold, was produced by Macready in 1843. It was published with his other tragedy, Sir William Crichton, in 1846.


SMITH, WILLIAM HENRY (1825-1891), English man of business and statesman, was born in London on the 24th of June 1825. His father was the founder of the great distributing firm of W. H. Smith & Son, in the Strand, and at an early age he became a partner and devoted himself to the business. He betrayed no political aspirations until 1865, when he came forward as a Conservative to contest Westminster against John Stuart Mill and the Hon. Mr Grosvenor. Defeated on that occasion, he triumphed in 1868, winning a victory when his party was in general vanquished on all sides. The prestige thus obtained combined with wealth and his business abilities to recommend him to Disraeli, who in 1874 made him secretary to the Treasury. In 1877 he gained cabinet rank as first lord of the Admiralty; in 1885 he was successively secretary for War and chief secretary for Ireland; in 1886 he was again at the War Office; and when late in that year Lord Randolph Churchill's resignation necessitated a reconstruction of the ministry, Mr Smith found himself first lord of the Treasury and leader of the House of Commons. He was no orator, and made no pretence to genius, but his success in these high offices was complete, and was admittedly due, not merely to business ability, but to the universal respect which was gained by his patience, good temper, zeal for the public service, and thorough kindness of heart. He died at Walmer Castle (which he occupied as Warden of the Cinque Ports) on the 6th of October 1891. In recognition of his services a peerage in her own right was conferred on his widow, with the title of Viscountess Hambleden. Lady Hambleden (b. 1828) had been a Miss Danvers, and before marrying Mr Smith had been the wife of Mr B. A. Leach, by whom she had a family. Her eldest son by the second marriage, the Hon. W. F. D. Smith (b. 1868), rowed in the Oxford boat, and on his father's death became head of the business; in 1891 he was elected Conservative M.P. for the Strand (London), and was re-elected in 1892, 1895, 1900 and 1906. He married in 1894 Lady Esther Gore, daughter of the earl of Arran.


WILLIAM ROBERTSON SMITH (1846–1894), Scottish philologist, physicist, archaeologist, Biblical critic, and editor, from 1881, of the 9th edition of this Encyclopaedia, was born on the