Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bookshop on the Strand

There is a family rumor among the Smiths that Frederic Smith and Robert Sparrow Smythe's Father owned a bookshop on the Strand. Given the passage of time there is probably a grain of truth in it, if not more than a grain and luckily, bookshop sellers on the Strand in the 19th and even 18th century are well documented and even include small biographies in many small compilatory publications. There are:

William Smith, map publisher who died Nov 10 1860 aged 54. The business was established in 1799 by HIS father Charles Smith who died just six years before aged 87. William's widow and the eldest son took over the business.

Francis Smith who died 1691, bookseller on the Strand. A Francis is also recorded as a son of Ralph Smith.

Richard Smith (son of the famous Ralph Smith) who had a shop at the Angel and Bible outside Temple Bar by 1698. In 1708 he moved to the Strand, then a few years later moved to Bishop Beveridge's Head in Paternoster Row. He died on April 18, 1732. His widow Mary took over the business, then her son Charles, and then Robert Smith.

Samuel Smith, who dealt in French and Latin books.

George Smith (1789-1846) who started a bookshop and continued by George Murray Smith (1824-1901)

Henry Walton Smith (1738-1792) whose son founded the dynasty of William Henry Smith (1792-1865) the largest bookselling and newspaper vending business. The grandson William Henry Smith Jnr. became a Member of Parliament.

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