SMITH, Thomas (?1754-1831), of Wray, Melling, Lancs. and 58 Russell Square, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1802 - Dec. 1803

Family and Education

b. ?1754, 1st s. of Stephen Smith of Wray by Margaret, da. of Edward Wildman of Roeburndale, Lancs. educ. Queens’, Camb. 1772; L. Inn 1777, called 1780. m. (1) Maria (d. 7 Oct. 1819), s.p.; (2) 1 Mar. 1821, Jane Addison, then of Hornby House, Melling, Lancs., s.p.1 suc. fa. 1811.

Offices Held

Vol. London and Westminster light horse 1794-6, 1797-8.


Smith has been wrongly identified2 with Thomas (1778-1806) son of Samuel Smith II* (1755-93); moreover, Venn’s account of his admission to Queens’ College, Cambridge adds an incorrect surmise about his parentage. When returned to Parliament he was described as ‘of Wray, Lancs.’ and confirmation of his identity was provided by the Lincoln’s Inn register which admits ‘Thomas Smith gent. 1st s. of Stephen Smith of Wray, Lancs, esq., MA Queens’ Coll. Camb. 1779’. After being called to the bar, Smith did not at first practise, but in the 1790s he had chambers at 2 Lamb’s Buildings, Middle Temple and was on the northern circuit. In the court directories he appeared for many years as of 58 Russell Square and of Wray, Lancashire, and in 1803 with ‘MP’ after his name.

He sat briefly in Parliament for Looe on the interest of John Buller II*. The circumstances do not appear, but the seat was made available to friends of administration as a rule, though a few months before the election, Pitt, now out of office, implied that the patron was still offering him the vacancy3 and it may have been Pitt who recommended Smith. In any case, Smith vacated his seat at the end of 1803 without having drawn attention to himself in any way and was not again in Parliament. A few years later he also disappeared from the law lists. He died 24 Apr. 1831, aged 77, at Russell Square.4

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. The co-executors with Jane Smith of her husband’s will, PCC 298 Tebbs, were Richard Addison and Thomas Addison of Bank Hill, nr. Liverpool.
  • 2. By Judd, Members of Parlt. 1734-1832, p. 337.
  • 3. See WEST LOOE.
  • 4. Gent. Mag. i. 475. Smith had two sisters, Agnes (later of Hornby House) who on 16 Dec. 1794 m. David Murray ‘of Great Ormond Street’, and Margaret, who m. Alexander Hoskins of Liverpool and L. Inn (MIs, Melling Church).