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Smith, William, 1756-1835 (MP)



  • Existence: 1756-1835

William Smith (1756-1835), MP, was one of the leading Independent politicians of his day. Prevented from attaining the high offices of state both by his Dissenting Christian convictions - he became a Unitarian - and by his own desire to remain out of the limelight, Smith nevertheless played a leading role in most of the great contemporary parliamentary issues, including the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts and the abolition of slavery. Smith married Frances Coape on 12 January 1781; they had 5 sons and 5 daughters.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


William Smith (1756-1835) and family correspondence, journals and other papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7621
Scope and Contents The larger part of the collection dates from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, chronicling William Smith's personal and political career, as well as illustrating the lives of his wife Frances and their children. The collection includes letters from Smith's friends, among them Charles James Fox, William Wilberforce and Sir Francis Burdett. The papers also chronicle Smith's time in Paris in 1790, where he witnessed and recorded his reactions to the 14th July celebrations. The...
Dates: 1678-1951
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.