John Smith

6th Sep 1767 - 20th Jan 1842

Claimant or beneficiary


Banker and politician. Son of Abel Smith, Nottingham banker and MP for Aldborough, St Ives, and St Germans, and the brother of George, Robert, 1st Baron Carrington, and Samuel Smith. Associated with the counterclaim of  the Smiths on Jamaica, St Elizabeth: 535A-C, where the Smiths are mortgagees.


(1) Sarah Boone, daughter of Thomas Boone, commissioner of customs. 1 December 1793-23 September 1794, when Sarah died;
(2) Mary Tucker, daughter of Lt.-Col. Martin Tucker. 6 January 1800-9 April 1809, when Mary died. Two sons: John Abel Smith (1802–1871), who succeeded him as MP for Midhurst, and Martin Tucker Smith (1803–1890), who became MP for Wycombe;
(3) Emma Leigh, daughter of Egerton Leigh of West Hall, High Leigh, Cheshire. 2 daughters.

On his death, his real estate was divided between John Abel Smith and Martin Tucker Smith, and left personalty sworn under £250,000.

‘One of the City’s most eminent bankers’; he and his brother George were in effective control of the London bank of Smith, Payne and Smith from 1799; he was also on the boards of the family concerns in Derby, Hull and Nottingham.

Many of his speeches in Parliament were concerned with  banking and financial matters, his views taking a Whig and Ricardian outlook. He was also concerned with the conditions of the poor and adopted a broadly sympathetic view of Irish issues. He was also pro-Catholic Relief, Parliamentary Reform, the rights of dissenters and Jews, and anti-slavery. He was among the ‘staunch friends’ of the abolition of the slave trade, 1807 and in 1830 was presenting petitions calling for the abolition of slavery. For some more details see political legacies.

In 1806, Smith served as a Manager of the newly formed London Institution. He was also closely involved with the establishment and funding of University College London. (See Cultural legacies.]

His commercial activities included being a director of the West India Dock Company (1804-1811, 1817-1824, 1828-1830, 1832-34, 1837-1838), deputy chairman, 1812-1813, and chairman, 1814. He was also a founder and director of the Imperial Insurance Co. (Imperial Fire Insurance Co.) in 1813-31; 1831-1834, 1836-1840.

His great-grandson Vivian Hugh Smith was created Baron Bicester in 1938.

He was presumably the John Smith of Russell Square, banker, who was one of the trustees of Aqualta Vale estate, named in the will of Thomas Hibbert (1761-1807).


Thorne (ed.), House of Commons, 1790-1820, vol. V; Fisher (ed.), House of Commons 1820-1832, vol. 7.

Caribbeana vol. 4 p. 197 for the will of Thomas Hibbert.

Further Information

(1) Sarah Boone; (2) Mary Tucker; (3) Emma Leigh
2 sons with Mary Tucker; 2 daughters with Emma Leigh
Banker and politician

Associated Claims (1)

£2,074 14s 10d

Associated Estates (3)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1807 [SY] - 1842 [EY] → Trustee
1807 [SY] - 1842 [EY] → Trustee
1789 [EA] - 1791 [LA] → Joint owner

Shown as the property of Messrs Smith, Payne and Smiths of Great Britain bankers between 1789 and 1791, presumably as mortgagees of Sir Charles Price the previous owner.

Legacies Summary

Commercial (3)

West India Dock Co.
Dock Company  
Name partner
Imperial Fire
notes →
Smith a director of the Imperial Insurance Co. (Imperial Fire) in 1813; and see also notes on Imperial...

Cultural (1)

Council member
University of London (University College, London)...... 
notes →
Statement by the Council of the University of London, Explanatory of the Nature and Objects of the Institution (London, Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green / John Murray,...

Political (3)

office →
Treasurer, Board of Agriculture
1807 - 1816
office →
Commissioner of exchange bills and loans
1818 - 1840
election →
Wendover Buckinghamshire
1802 - 1806
election →
Nottingham Nottinghamshire
1806 - 1818
election →
Midhurst Sussex
1818 - 1830
election →
Chichester Sussex
1830 - 1831
election →
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire
1831 - 1834

Relationships (3)


Addresses (1)

Russell Square, London, Middlesex, London, England