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Sir William Sidney Smith papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS 267
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, watercolor sketches, printed documents document the career and family of Sir William Sidney Smith. The bulk of the letters concern Smith's brother, John Spencer Smith, who was British ambassador to the Porte at Constantinople in the early 1790s. Correspondents include Robert Liston, British Minister to the United States. Also included is a genealogy of the Smith family, a battle order issued by Smith aboard HMS Tigre during the siege at Acre in 1799, and an invitation to the funeral of the Duke of Wellington.

Dates

  • 1794 - 1862

Creator

Access Restriction

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials from the Sir William Sidney Smith papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Biographical Note

Sir (William) Sidney Smith (1764–1840), naval officer, was born on 21 June 1764 in Park Lane, London, the second son of John Smith of Midgham, Berkshire, a captain in the guards and gentleman-usher to Queen Charlotte, wife of George III.

Smith entered the navy in 1777 and saw action in the American War at Cape St Vincent (16 January 1780) and off the Chesapeake (5 September 1781). In 1785–7 he studied French at Caen before spending a year with the Swedish navy. In 1793 he was posted to Toulon and returned with dispatches after its fall. Smith was given command of the frigate Diamond which he used to conduct partisan warfare along the French coast. He was captured in 1796 off Le Havre and imprisoned in the Temple, Paris. Two years later he escaped and returned to command the Tigre in Levant. The most famous episode in his career came in 1799 when he undertook the defence of Saint-Jean d'Acre (3 March–8 May) and heroically repulsed Napoleon. He died in Paris and was buried in Père-Lachaise.

Excerpted from:

JOHN CANNON "Smith, Sir Sidney." The Oxford Companion to British History. Encyclopedia.com. 8 Aug. 2021

Extent

3 Linear Feet (1 box and map drawer)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract:

The papers of Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith contain letters concerning Smith's brother, John Spencer Smith, who was British ambassador to the Porte at Constantinople in the early 1790s. Correspondents include Robert Liston, British Minister to the United States. Also included is a genealogy of the Smith family, a battle order issued by Smith aboard HMS Tigre during the siege at Acre in 1799, and an invitation to the funeral of the Duke of Wellington.

Acquisition Information

This material was purchased from manuscript dealers, 1956-1964.

Processing Information

This finding aid was reviewed for harmful, offensive, and aggrandizing language. Published titles and names of organizations with this language are not edited. Legacy finding aids are available by request. If you have suggestions, please email woodson@rice.edu.
Title
Guide to the Sir William Sidney Smith papers, 1794-1862
Status
Completed
Date
2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Contact:
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA