Smiles, Samuel

BORN 23 Sep 1812, Haddington, East Lothian - DIED 16 Apr 1904, London: 5 Pembroke Gardens, Kensington
GRAVE LOCATION London: Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road, West Brompton (I)

Samuel Smiles came from a family of Presbyterians, but he didn't practice himself. He studied medicine in Edinburgh and took an interest in politics, supporting Joseph Hume. He started writing articles for the Leeds Times and other journals, From 1838 to 1842 he was the editor of the Leeds Times.

In 1843 he married Sarah Ann Holmes Dixon and from 1845 to 1860 he was secretary to several railway companies. In 1859 he published his book "Self-Help" in which he stated that poverty was often caused by irresponsible habits. He als attacked laissez-faire government. The book made him famous.

In 1856 he was appointed president of the National Provident Institution, but he resigned in 1871 after a severe stroke. He had to learn to read and write again and succeeded. In 1875 his book "Thrift" was published. More books followed. He died in 1904 in London.


The grave of Samuel Smiles at Brompton Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (13 May 2011)


Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Samuel Smiles - Wikipedia

Smith, Adam

Published: 01 Apr 2017
Last update: 08 Mar 2022