SMELT, Leonard (c.1683-1740), of Kirkby Fleetham, nr. Northallerton, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



6 May 1709 - 1710
1713 - 30 May 1740

Family and Education

b. c.1683, 1st s. of Leonard Smelt, of Kirkby Fleetham by Grace, da. of Sir William Frankland, 1st Bt.†, of Thirkleby, nr. Thirsk, sis. of Thomas Frankland I*; bro. of William Smelt†.  educ. Jesus, Camb. 1700.  m. Elizabeth Whitaker, 2s.  suc. fa. 1710.1

Offices Held

Commr. stating army debts 1715–22; clerk of deliveries in the Ordnance 1722–33; clerk of Ordnance 1733–d.


Smelt’s family had been prominent in Northallerton, where they owned many of the burgages, since the mid-17th century. His father and later he himself were trustees of Kettlewell’s charity to provide the local poor with bibles, medicines, clothes and education. Smelt also provided the town with a public clock. The first member of his family to sit in Parliament, he was returned at a by-election in 1709 at Thirsk. His candidature was unopposed due to an accommodation reached between the two main interests in the borough, that of his uncle, (Sir) Thomas Frankland I (2nd Bt.), and Ralph Bell*, whereby Bell supported Smelt on the understanding that at the next election Frankland would support Bell’s nominee. Smelt was not an active Member, but his Whiggish outlook was reflected in his vote for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710.2

Smelt did not stand for Thirsk in 1710 due to the prior agreement between Frankland and Bell. However, he was successful for Northallerton in 1713. As before, he was not active, though he voted against the expulsion of Richard Steele on 18 Mar. 1714. He was noted as a Whig on the Worsley list and in two comparative analyses of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments. His support for the Whig government after the Hanoverian succession earned him places in the Ordnance. He died on 30 May 1740.

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, iii. 508.
  • 2. J. L. Saywell, Northallerton, pp. xxix, 104, 106–7, 115; N. Yorks. RO, Worsley mss ZON 13/1/310, Henry Frankland to Thomas Worsley I*, 20 Sept. 1710.