Smith, Sydney

BORN 3 Jun 1771, Woodford, Essex - DIED 22 Feb 1845, London: Green Street
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (131/5 (5680))

Son of the merchant Robert Smith (1739-1827) and of Maria Olier (1750-1801). He studied in Oxford, but when he wanted to start working as a lawyer his father decided that he should take holy orders. He became curate of Netheravon, near Amesbury.

In 1800 he published "Six Sermons, preached in Charlotte Street Chapel, Edinburgh" and during the same year he married Catherine Anne Pybus, although her friends warned her against him. They lived in Edinburgh, where he founded the Edinburgh Review in 1802. In 1803 he moved to London where his sermons were always crowded. He also lectured on moral philosophy at the Royal Institution and in 1807 he started his fight for Catholic emancipation.

In 1809 he left London and settled in a Parish in Yorkshire. There hs stayed for twenty years, until he accepted a position at Bristol Cathedral. There was talk that he would become a bishop when the Whigs would come to power, but he was only appointed a residential canon at St. Paul's Cathedral in 1831. When his brother Courtenay died he inherited 50,000. His eldest daughter Saba married Sir Henry Holland and his eldest and very promising son Douglas sadly died in 1829.

He died in 1845 at his home in Green Street in London and was buroed at Kensal Green Cemetery. In 1866 Saba was buried in the same grave.

• Daughter: Holland, Saba, Lady


The grave of Sydney Smith and Lady Saba Holland at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (26 Jun 2009)


Paths of Glory, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 1997
The Times
Sydney Smith - Wikipedia

Smithers, Leonard

Published: 03 Oct 2010
Last update: 20 Feb 2022