SMITH, Nathaniel (1730-94), of Ashtead, Surr. and Bloomsbury Square, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 1730, posth. s. of Capt. Nathaniel Smith of St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, London by Anne, da. of James Gould. m. 4 Dec. 1764, Hester, da. of George Dance, surveyor to the city of London, 1s.
Cdr. and capt. E.I. Co. naval service 1759-71.
Dir. E.I. Co. 1774-d., dep. chairman Aug. 1782-Nov. 1783, 1785-6, 1787-8, chairman Nov. 1783-4, 1784-5, 1788-9.
As Member for Rochester in the Parliament of 1784 Smith had supported Pitt until illness affected his attendance from 1788. Faced with a contest in 1790 and still in indifferent health, he decided not to go to a poll, though it was believed that he would have been returned if he had persevered. On a vacancy in 1792 he accepted an invitation to try again and defeated the Admiralty nominee: he insisted on his independence. A month later he crept back into the East India Company court of directors, defeating Jacob Wilkinson for the last place on the poll. He had not been a popular chairman. In his only further speech in the House he combated the statement of fact upon which the resolutions of the committee on Indian affairs were based, 7 Mar. 1793, but was refuted by David Scott I*. On 13 May he was excused attendance because of illness. He died 6 May 1794, leaving bequests of over £15,000. His son George was invited to contest Rochester in 1796.
Camden mss C3, Camden to his da. Fanny, 21 June 1790; Public Advertiser, 23 June 1790; Morning Chron. 3, 10 Mar., 9, 12 Apr. 1792; PCC 282 Holman.