SMITH, Martin Tucker (1803-1880), of 43 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1831 - 1832
1847 - 1865

Family and Education

b. 6 July 1803, 2nd s. of John Smith* (d. 1842) and 2nd w. Mary, da. of Lt.-Col. Martin Tucker; bro. of John Abel Smith*. educ. Eton 1814-17. m. 8 July 1831, Louisa, da. of Sir Matthew White Ridley, 3rd bt.*, 6s. (2 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p.). d. 10 Oct. 1880.

Offices Held

Dir. Canada Co. 1826-49, E.I. Co. 1838-58.


Smith, a member of the prominent Whig banking dynasty, was returned for the family borough of Midhurst in 1831, thus joining his father and brother in the Commons. He divided for the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, and steadily for its details, though he was in the minority for the total disfranchisement of Aldborough, 14 Sept. 1831. He voted for the bill’s passage, 21 Sept., the second reading of the Scottish bill, 23 Sept., and Lord Ebrington’s confidence motion, 10 Oct. He voted to punish only those guilty of bribery at the Dublin election and against the motion censuring the conduct of the Irish administration, 23 Aug. He divided for the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, and for its details. Although The Times credited ‘Mr. M. Smith’ with a speech in defence of the transfer of Midhurst from schedule A to B, 23 Feb., this was probably delivered by his cousin and colleague George Robert Smith.1 He voted for the bill’s third reading, 22 Mar., and Ebrington’s motion for an address asking the king to appoint only ministers committed to carrying an unimpaired measure, 10 May. He divided with government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12, 16, 20 July. He joined Brooks’s Club, 5 Feb. 1832.

With the demise of his father’s interest at Midhurst, Smith had to wait 15 years before being returned for Chipping Wycombe with the support of his cousin, the 2nd Baron Carrington, as a free trader opposed to the ballot. As a politician, he was always overshadowed by his brother.2 In 1842 he had inherited properties from his father in Kent, Middlesex and Sussex, and he was the joint residuary legatee of the estate, which was sworn under £250,000.3 He subsequently joined the boards of the Smith banking houses in London, Derby, Hull and Nottingham, eventually becoming the senior partner of each. As a director of the East India Company during its final year he ‘devoted a considerable amount of time to the management of its affairs’.4 He died in October 1880.

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Howard Spencer


  • 1. The Times, 24 Feb. 1832.
  • 2. R.W. Davis, Political Change and Continuity, 168, 216.
  • 3. PROB 11/1960/208; IR26/1623/148.
  • 4. NatWest Archives, Smith/2/1987; H.T. Easton, Hist. of a Banking House, 30.