Thomas Smyth (merchant)

Last updated

Thomas Smyth (1737? – 1824) was an English merchant, banker and Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Contents

Life

He was son of Thomas Smyth of the Middle Temple, the sixth son of Bishop Thomas Smyth. [1] [2]

Smyth was partner with Charles Caldwell in Charles Caldwell & Co., a Liverpool bank. He became a shareholder (holding joint with Caldwell) in the Macclesfield Copper Company, known as Roe and Co. after its founder Charles Roe, in 1774. [1]

Smyth was a lessee on behalf of Roe and Co. of land near Llandudno from Lord Penrhyn, by an agreement of 1785. [3] On 12 October 1788 Lord Penrhyn visited Merseyside, riding the liberties of the borough of Sefton, and Smyth accompanied him. The occasion was seen as largely political and symbolic, part of the contest between Lord Penrhyn, whose title was in the Peerage of Ireland and who was the sitting Member of Parliament for Liverpool at the time, and Banastre Tarleton. [4]

Smyth was Lord Mayor of Liverpool in 1789–1790. An important issue for Liverpool Corporation at the period was the development of Liverpool Docks. Smyth undertook negotiations with Lord Sefton over a lease in the Harrington area, for planned expansion. That lease was currently held by Roe & Co. The negotiation failed, however, Lord Sefton expressing a wish not to have the area developed with labourers' houses. [5]

The 1790 British general election fell in the summer, towards the end of Smyth's term of office. Lord Penrhyn and Bamber Gascoyne the younger were candidates posing as defenders of Liverpool's commercial interests, against abolitionists, such as Tarleton. Feelings ran high, and Smyth called a noon meeting on 16 June outside the Liverpool Exchange. He warned of violence, and attempted a straw poll by show of hands. But Tarleton had much support, and was not faced down. [6]

Smyth's term as mayor also brought to the surface a related sharp rivalry with John Sparling, his successor the following year. Smyth manoeuvred to bring his partner Caldwell into the Corporation; in retaliation Sparling tried to bring in supporters of his own. Sparling and his bailiffs, one of whom was Clayton Tarleton [7] (brother to Banastre Tarleton), were impugned by a comment Smyth had minuted for illegal acts. The matter went to a court case. [8]

Smyth became bankrupt in 1793, when the bank failed, hit by the fall in the price of cotton at the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars. [9] Losing most of his possessions, Smyth was able to remain at Fair View, Toxteth Park, by arrangement with his landlord William Roe, son of Charles Roe. An estate in Macclesfield, that had come through his wife, remained unaffected. [10] The impact in Liverpool of the failure of Charles Caldwell & Co. was serious on business confidence, and there was a failed attempt to obtain a loan from the Bank of England. The Corporation resolved the financial crisis by an Act of Parliament allowing it to issue banknotes. [11] [12]

Smyth died, aged 87, at Fence House in Macclesfield, on 12 July 1824. [13]

Family

Smyth married Elizabeth Blagg or Blagge of Macclesfield in 1762 at Prestbury. Their children included William Smyth. [14] [15]

Related Research Articles

Aigburth Human settlement in England

Aigburth is a suburb of Liverpool, England. Located to the south of the city, it is bordered by Dingle, Garston, Grassendale, Mossley Hill, Sefton Park, and Toxteth.

Banastre Tarleton

Sir Banastre Tarleton, 1st Baronet, GCB was a British soldier and politician. Tarleton was eventually ranked as a general years after his service in the colonies during the American Revolutionary War, and afterwards did not lead troops into battle.

William Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton

William Philip Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton, also known as Lord Dashalong, was a sportsman, gambler and a friend of the Prince Regent.

John Raphael Smith

John Raphael Smith was a British painter and mezzotinter. He was the son of Thomas Smith of Derby, the landscape painter, and father of John Rubens Smith, a painter who emigrated to the United States.

Richard Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn, was the owner of Penrhyn estate, on the outskirts of Bangor, North Wales, six sugar plantations in Jamaica, and hundreds of enslaved African workers. He was a staunch anti-abolitionist and sat in the House of Commons between 1761 and 1790. He received an Irish peerage in 1783.

History of Liverpool

The history of Liverpool can be traced back to 1190 when the place was known as 'Liuerpul', possibly meaning a pool or creek with muddy water, though other origins of the name have been suggested. The borough was founded by royal charter in 1207 by King John, was made up of only seven streets in the shape of the letter 'H'. Liverpool remained a small settlement until its trade with Ireland and coastal parts of England and Wales was overtaken by trade with Africa and the West Indies, which included the slave trade. The world's first wet dock was opened in 1715 and Liverpool's expansion to become a major city continued over the next two centuries.

William Rathbone V

William Rathbone V was an English merchant and politician, serving as Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Liverpool was a borough constituency in the county of Lancashire of the House of Commons for the Parliament of England to 1706 then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1885. It was represented by two Members of Parliament (MPs). In 1868, this was increased to three Members of Parliament.

Charles Roe English businessman

Charles Roe was an English industrialist. He played an important part in establishing the silk industry in Macclesfield, Cheshire and later became involved in the mining and metal industries.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool Wikimedia list article

The office of Lord Mayor of Liverpool has existed in one form or another since the foundation of Liverpool as a borough by the Royal Charter of King John in 1207, simply being referred to as the Mayor of Liverpool. The current Lord Mayor of Liverpool is the Right Worshipful Councillor Anna Rothery who has held the post since September 2019.

Sir Richard Molyneux, 1st Baronet (1560–1622) was a Member of Parliament for Lancashire, Mayor of Liverpool and Receiver-General of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Charles Callis Western, 1st Baron Western, was a British landowner and Whig politician. He sat in the House of Commons for over forty years before his elevation to the peerage in 1833.

William Devaynes was an Africa trader, London banker, Government contractor, director of the East India Company, the Africa Company, the Globe Insurance Company, and the French Hospital and also five times Chairman of the East India Company. He was also for more than 26 years an undistinguished Member of Parliament in turn for Barnstaple and Winchelsea.

Abraham Mills was an English mining company manager and geologist.

Arthur Bowes Smyth

Arthur Bowes Smyth was a naval officer and surgeon on the First Fleet that established the colony of New South Wales. Smyth kept a diary and documented the natural history he encountered in Australia.

Tarleton was built in France under another name in 1778. The partnership of the Tarletons and Backhouse purchased her in 1779. She first traded between Liverpool and Jamaica, and then became a slaver. She was lost in November 1788.

Banastre, was built at Ringsend, Dublin, in 1759, though under what name is unclear. By 1787 she was in the hands of the partnership of the Tarletons and Backhouse of Liverpool, noted slavers. Under their ownership she made five complete voyages transporting slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean. A French warship captured her in 1793 as she was on her way from West Africa to Jamaica on her sixth voyage transporting slaves.

Othello was launched in 1786 at Liverpool for the African slave trade. She made some five voyages before she burnt off the coast of Africa in 1796. During her first voyage her master fired on another British slave ship, which gave rise to an interesting court case. As a letter of marque she recaptured a British ship in 1794.

Tarleton was launched in 1796 at Liverpool for Tarleton & Co., a Liverpool firm that had been in the slave trade for three generations. She made two full voyages as a slaver before she was wrecked on a third voyage in late 1798. On her first voyage she repelled attacks by two French privateers in single-ship actions.

John Tarleton (1718–1773) was an English ship-owner and slave-trader, and Mayor of Liverpool in 1764.

References

Notes

  1. 1 2 Smith, p. 593.
  2. William Courthope (1838). Debrett's Complete Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Printed for J. G. & F. Rivington. p. 649. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  3. Smith, p. 465.
  4. Engelbert Horley, Sefton; a descriptive and historical account (1893), pp. 210–1; archive.org.
  5. Smith, pp. 501–2.
  6. Frank Howley (May 2008). Slavers, Traders and Privateers: Liverpool, the African Trade and Revolution, 1773-1808. Countyvise Ltd. p. 273. ISBN   978-1-901231-98-4 . Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  7. Frank Howley (May 2008). Slavers, Traders and Privateers: Liverpool, the African Trade and Revolution, 1773-1808. Countyvise Ltd. p. 172. ISBN   978-1-901231-98-4 . Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  8. Smith, p. 481.
  9. George Chandler (1964). Four Centuries of Banking. 1. B. T. Batsford. p. 204.
  10. Smith, p. 518.
  11. Yukihisa Kumagai (8 November 2012). Breaking Into the Monopoly: Provincial Merchants and Manufacturers' Campaigns for Access to the Asian Market, 1790-1833. BRILL. p. 119. ISBN   978-90-04-24172-5 . Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  12. S. G. Checkland (1971). The Gladstones: A Family Biography, 1764-1851 . Cambridge University Press. p.  33. ISBN   978-0-521-07966-2 . Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  13. Smith, p. 564.
  14. Smith p. 219.
  15. Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). "Smyth, William (1765-1849)"  . Dictionary of National Biography . 53. London: Smith, Elder & Co.