Text: Web Site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
Note: N14496 Sir Thomas Smith (23 December 1513 – 12 August 1577) was an English scholar and diplomat.
Education and career
Born at Saffron Walden in Essex, Smith was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1530, and in 1533 was appointed a public reader or professor. He lectured in the schools on natural philosophy, and on Greek in his own rooms. In 1540 Smith went abroad, and, after studying in France and Italy and taking a degree in law at the University of Padua, returned to Cambridge in 1542.
He now took the lead in the reform of the pronunciation of Greek, his views being universally adopted after considerable controversy. He and his friend, Sir John Cheke, were the great classical scholars of the time in England. In January 1543/4 he was appointed the first Regius Professor of Civil Law. He was vice-chancellor of the university the same year. In 1547 he became provost of Eton College and dean of Carlisle Cathedral.
He was an early convert to Protestant views, which brought him into prominence when Edward VI came to the throne. During the protectorate of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, he entered public life and was made the Secretary of State, and was sent on an important diplomatic mission to Brussels. In 1548 he was knighted. On the accession of Queen Mary I he lost all his offices, but in the reign of her sister, Elizabeth I, was prominently employed in public affairs. He became a Member of Parliament, and was sent in 1562 as ambassador to France, where he remained till 1566; and in 1572 he again went to France in the same capacity for a short time. He remained one of Elizabeth's most trusted Protestant counsellors, being appointed in 1572 Chancellor of the Order of the Garter and a secretary of state.
Failed colony in Ireland
In 1571, Elizabeth I, a great believer in colonization, granted Smith 360,000 acres (150,000 ha) of East Ulster to plant English settlers in an effort to seize control of the Clandeboye O’Neill territory and control the native Irish. The grant included all of the area known today as North Down and the Ards, apart from the southern tip of the Peninsula which was controlled by the Anglo-Norman Savage family.
Unfortunately for Smith, the booklet he printed to advertise his new lands was read by the Clandeboye O'Neill chief, Sir Brian MacPhelim, who just a few years earlier had been knighted by Elizabeth. Furious at her duplicity in secretly arranging for the colonization of O'Neill territory, he burned down all the major buildings in the area, making it difficult for the plantation to take hold. Launching a wave of attacks on these early English settlers, the O'Neills scorched the land Smith claimed, burning abbeys, monasteries and churches, and leaving Clandeboye "totally waste and void of inhabitants".
Smith was a Member of Parliament of the Parliament of England for Marlborough in 1547, Grampound in October 1553, Liverpool 1559, and Essex 1571 and 1572.
He died on 12 August 1577.
Marriages and heirs
Smith married firstly, on 15 April 1548, Elizabeth Carkeke (died 1553), the daughter of a London printer.
He married secondly, on 23 July 1554, Philippa Wilford (died 15 June 1578), widow of Sir John Hampden (died 20 December 1553) of Great Hampden, Buckinghamshire, and daughter of the London merchant Henry Wilford.
Smith had no issue by either marriage. His heirs were his younger brother, George, and George's son, Sir William Smith (died 12 December 1626) of Theydon Mount, Essex. Sir William Smith's daughter, Frances Smith, married Sir Matthew Brend, owner of the land on which the first and second Globe Theatres was built.
Sir Thomas Smith's book De Republica Anglorum: the Maner of Gouernement or Policie of the Realme of England, written between 1562 and 1565, was first published in 1583. In it, he described England as a mixed government and a commonwealth, and stated that all commonwealths are of mixed character.
Smith also authored De recta & emendata lingvæ Anglicæ scriptione, dialogus (Correct and Improved English Writing, a Dialogue, 1568).
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