Smith, George

SOCIETY FOR CONSTITUTIONAL INFORMATION: George Smith of Bloomsbury Square proposed member 14.12.1792 by Joseph Jennings 2nded Charles Sinclair
His father was Nathaniel Smith 1730-1794 MP for Rochester (historyofparliamentunline 1754-1790 & 1790-1820) and a wealthy East India director of Bloomsbury Square, who had married 0n 4.12.1764 his first cousin Hester Dance, sister of George Dance the younger (DNB 1741-1825). George Smith was admitted to Lincolns Inn 23.5.1787 and studied at Cambridge with Joseph Jennings who proposed him for SCI. He married Sarah Hardman (eldest dau of John Hardman Esq of Granby Row, Manchester) at Manchester Cathedral on 14.12.1795. He was offered to stand for Rochester in 1796 but declined because "the whole frame of parliament" was "so completely vitiated" (Morn Chron 20.5.1796). In 1798 he was involved in the courtroom fracas at Maidstone with Fox and others, and was arrested with Lord Thanet but soon released. Farington's Diary 16.12.1805 "Dance informed me that George Smith is appointed Chief Justice of Grenada with a salary of £1500 a year, through the interest of Lord Castlereagh to whom Dance applied representing the change which had taken place in Smith's mind respecting Democratic notions. To these assurances were added the urgent applications of Mrs Smith mother to George & Lady Elizabeth Pratt, Sister to Lord Camden. Mrs Smith wife to George Smith now lives in a state of separation from Him, on acct. of her imprudent conduct with Roger O'Connor". His mother Hester's will PCC 9.3.1814 dated 8.9.1811 mentioned her brother William Dance, her daughters Ann, Elizabeth & Frances Diana, her son George, and his daughters Hester & Sarah. Farington's Diary 18.3.1820 "Dance called and spoke of George Smith who is now Chief Justice of the Island of Mauritius. He has 2 Sons and 2 daughters. One son had a writership and is now in Bengal & married; the other is in the army and with his regiment in the Mauritius. The last that was heard of Mrs George Smith was that she was at Cadiz, but whether still under the protection of Roger O'Connor is not known." There are several other references to George Smith in Farington's Diary which are all worth looking at. His will PCC 3.7.1833 George Smith of Ashstead, Surrey dated 30.4.1814 mentioned his wife Sarah late Hardman, his children Nathaniel, George, Felix Vaughan, Hester & Sarah. It was proved by his daughter Sarah (died 1878) who had married on 19.7.1824 Robert Campbell Scarlett later a Conservative MP and then 2nd Baron Abinger. Jackson's Oxford Journal 24.7.1824 called her youngest dau of the late George Smith Esq, Chief Justice of Mauritius. Jacksons Oxford Journal 25.8.1821 Edmund Lennox Esq of Lincolns Inn married Hester dau of Geo Smith, Chief Justice of Mauritius. I haven't discovered any announcement or record of Smith's death, presumably between the weddings of his two daughters.
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GODWIN DIARY: 12.2.1802 was the only Smith entry in Godwin's diary to specify George, but I have named this entry George as the GD website has made an attribution of Smith, who first called on Godwin on 5.9.1793 (with, or on the same day as Joseph Gerrald), to George Smith who was a pupil at Hoxton with William Godwin. This is a possible guess but there is no good evidence for it. I call this Smith the Sunday breakfaster as he took breakfast with Godwin some 120 times between 22.9.1793 and 21.6.1796, almost always on a Sunday. The GD website has coded a number of entries to him which clearly belong to other Smiths, so I will deal with them first. 28.6.1794, 5.7.1794, 5.7.1796 & 6.7.1796 were all in Norwich (see Smith of Norwich). 1.3.1795 Smith mus(icia)n (you need to look at the scanned image in the GD website rather than the transcription to see that musn applies to Smith) and 27.11.1794 (see Smith, James). On 30.3.1795 at Barbauld's it was a female Smith because of the prefix mes (mesdames which covers miss & mrs) perhaps Charlotte Smith? 2.7.1795 was in Warwickshire (see Smith, at Warwick) and 9.7.1795 at Hedge Grove, near Edgware (see Smith, farmer). Some other entries coded to him were quite likely a different person, as 12.5.1795 Smiths at Batty's - the only plural coded to him, could perhaps have been Smith of Norwich's family. 21.5.1797 at Tooke's was well out of the range of the Sunday breakfast era and could have been a number of other Smiths (see below). There were very few entries for Smith in 1793-6 that were not breakfasts at Godwin's or else fairly clearly another Smith, so the breakfaster didn't socialise much with Godwin's friends, but a pattern can be discerned where he (if it was him) turned up (adv) at Holcroft's later on four Sundays when he had breakfasted earlier (29.12.1793, 5.1.1794, 2.2.1794 & 16.3.1794). Some other of Godwin's friends and relations sometimes breakfasted with Smith & Godwin, or turned up (adv) then, or called next diary item after breakfast, and these may have been just chance, or may suggest some desire to join in the conversation; Godwin noted the subjects of his talks with Smith only in four of the earliest visits.
The next time after 16.3.1794 when Smith maybe appeared other than at Godwin's was on 2.2.1795 at Thelwall's, but this could have been any Smith. Then on 8.3.1795, after a Sunday breakfast with Smith, Godwin dined at Foulkes' with Smith surgn. One week before on 1.3.1795 Godwin had noted Smith, musn, so rather than be a new Smith, the surgeon could have been the Sunday breakfaster, whom Godwin now saw the need to distinguish from the musician in his diary. Later on, the most regular associates of Smith, at breakfasts and other times, along with John Fenwick, were Younger & Jamieson, both of whom, from other evidence in the diary, were probably surgeons. On 26.5.1796 "dine at Younger's with Fenwick & Sm" the Sm is uncoded on GD website but should clearly be added to the Sunday Smith. On 22.4.1795 there was a Smith at Holcroft's on Wednesday tea-time; this could have been the musician (Smith, James) who was previously at Holcroft's, or the Sunday Smith, or another Smith. Then there was a Smith at Newton's on 30.12.1795 & 14.1.1796, and at Warren's on 15.2.1796. Assuming that the Smith on 28.1.1796, 9.4.1796, 26.5.1796 and 22.6.1796 was the Sunday breakfaster because of the presence of Younger or Jamieson, that only leaves 1.3.1796 call on Smith, 25.4.1796 see Smith at play & 3.6.1796 Smith calls, as possible appearances of the Sunday breakfaster on a weekday. Towards the end the Sunday pattern broke up a bit, but there were only ever 7 breakfasts with Smith not on a Sunday. The first was Tuesday 21.7.1795 when they didn't have a Sunday together for a month before or after, then two Mondays on 9.11.1795 & 18.4.1796 when they had breakfasted together the day before, and then in June 1796 they breakfasted together on Monday 5.6.1796, Thursday 9.6.1796, Sunday 12.6.1796, Wedneday 15.6.1796, Sunday 18.6.1796 & Tuesday 21.6.1796. On Wednesday 22.6.1796 Godwin supped at the Coal Hole (kept by Nathaniel Davis at Fountain Court, Strand) with Smith, Younger, Fenwick, Marshall and Kennedy (this last also probably a surgeon). Then apart from Smiths at Norwich, a C Smith at John King's and Carrington Smith at Joseph Johnson's, the next Smith in the diary was eleven months later at Tooke's. So the Coal Hole supper was clearly a leave-taking for Smith. Given that the Navy was the surest way for surgeons to find employment, I checked the Navy List and a George Smith, an Andrew Smith, and a Joseph Kennedy began as surgeons in the navy in 1796. It's worth noting that a large proportion of Godwin's friends were surgeons. There's also the question of whether the Sunday breakfast arrangement was just for mutual intellectual enjoyment or whether some payment was also involved.  
The George Smith SCI member (see top of page) could possibly have been Godwin's Sunday breakfaster. He can't also have been the George Smith that Godwin was at Hoxton with, this one was younger and was at Trinity Hall Cambridge with J C Jennings, who proposed him for the SCI. He could also have been the Smith at Tooke's in 21.5.1797 and less likely the Geo Smith who called on 12.2.1802. At first I thought he might have been Godwin's Sunday Smith because he first called with, or on the same day as, Joseph Gerrald, who then took Godwin to meet J C Jennings (for the first time, if my belief is correct that the Brand Hollis Jennings was a different man, see Jennings, Edmund). But the breakfaster never appeared at J C Jennings' or indeed almost anywhere else but calling on Godwin. The SCI George Smith would also have inherited a substantial fortune in 1794 being the only son and heir, while the Sunday Smith was regularly breakfasting with Godwin.
It is also possible that the Sunday breakfaster was James Smith 1763-1847, (for whom see my entry for Smith James and who was possibly Godwin's caller Smith from 1801 to 1804 and probably Godwin's caller Smith from 1810 to 1821), who fled from Glasgow to France in February 1793 to escape a charge of sedition and was declared a fugitive in the Scottish courts. His return to London so soon would have been dangerous, but keeping a low profile might account for his Sunday breakfast habits