Gen Richard Smith
Of India and of London
And of Chilton Foliat, Hungerford

1734-1803

Born: 1734, baptised 15 May 1734, at St. Mary's, Marlborough. Died 3 July 1803.
Son of: John Smith.
Brother of: possibly Maj John Smith also of the East India Company.
Richard married: 25 September 1756 in Madras (British Library N/2/1 f.271 ), Amelia Hopkins, daughter of Capt Charles Hopkins (died 1757) and Phillis Hopkins nee Bright (died 1794/5).
Richard and Amelia had issue:
1. John Maunsill Smith (John Mannseur Smith?).

Richard in his will claimed that he was the natural father, via his sister in law, of Amelia Marsh (nee Cuthbert, 1765-1793).

Gen Richard Smith: An Overview

We know about Richard from the following sources:

1. A mention in the book 'The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh' by Prof Linda Colley, 2007
2. His will in the National Record Office at Kew.
3. An entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
4. An entry in the Bengal almanac, for 1827, compiled by S. Smith and Co.
5. The book 'A Vindication of General Richard Smith', Chairman of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, as to His Competency (22 March 1783), by Joseph Price, 145 pages.
6. 'A letter to General Richard Smith, in reply to the charges introduced into the ninth report of the Select Committee, affecting the character of Mr. Stuart'. By Charles Stuart, 1783, 37 pages.
7. A good description of Gen Richard Smith is in the book 'Narrative of the life of a gentleman long resident in India : comprehending a period the most eventful in the history of that country, with regard to the revolutions occasioned by European interference, and interspersed with interesting anecdotes and traits characteristical of those eminent persons who distinguished themselves at that juncture' by George Francis Grand.  Published Cape of Good Hope: Printed for the author, 1814.
8. A full biography in Parliament online information (Ref Volumes: 1754-1790, Author: J. A. Cannon).

 

Richard Smith arrived in India and was commissioned into the Madras Army in 1752. He later returned to London and became a prominent shareholder in the East India Company. When he went out to India again in 1764 it was as Commander of one of the East India Company's three brigades. In 1767 he was promoted to Commander-in-Chief, India. Later he went into politics as Member of Parliament for Wendover in 1780-1784 and then as Member of Parliament for Wareham in 1790-1796. He lived at Chilton Lodge, Chilton Foliat, near Hungerford in Berkshire.

 

A good biography is in the Parliament online information (Ref Volumes: 1754-1790, Author: J. A. Cannon). This reads as follows:

Smith was commissioned from purser's mate to ensign in the East India Company in December 1752, and rapidly received further promotion. He distinguished himself at the siege of Nelore in 1757, but resigned the service in 1761 and returned to England. In May 1764 he accompanied Clive to India as a colonel. On the voyage out Smith's habitual superciliousness provoked Clive greatly: 'You may remember that I often told you I was afraid Dick Smith's temper and manners would not suit with Lord Clive, and it has so happened', wrote George Mackay to Robert Orme, 5 Jan. 1767.1 'They quarrelled in the passage out, and have not been friends since.' Nevertheless Smith, in command of a brigade at Allahabad, remained loyal to Clive during the Batta mutiny, and was appointed commander-in-chief when Clive left in 1767.

Smith was now busily engaged in amassing a large fortune, acquired, in part, by lending money to the Nawab of Arcot. In January 1769 he wrote: 'I am preparing for Europe by collecting my scattered fortune ... I have fortune sufficient to make me happy, if happiness can depend on every conveniency and some few indulgences of life.' When he returned home in 1770 he was reported to have brought

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