Sydney Smith (1771-1845), Wit and Canon of St Paul's
Sitter associated with 9 portraits
A clergyman, essayist and social reformer, Smith founded the Whig Edinburgh Review with Francis Jeffrey and Henry Brougham in 1802. For the next twenty-five years he used this periodical as an organ for his liberal views on educational reform, the slave trade and the Irish situation. Smith was perhaps the most celebrated wit of his age and an exuberant member of the Holland House set. His humorous Letters to Peter Plymley (1807-8) supported Catholic emancipation. Although later appointed Canon of St Paul's Cathedral, his hopes for a bishopric were frustrated by his public reputation as an enlightened Whig.