The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

Sir James Edward Masterton-Smith

(1878-1938), Private secretary

Sitter in 6 portraits

Tell us More

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close


Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

Dr Ben Knighton

14 June 2019, 12:08

Sir James Edward Masterton-Smith (24 August 1878 – 4 May 1938) KCB was a British civil servant. He was the son of Edward Smith, formerly a member of the Stock Exchange. In 1905 Masterton-Smith married Barbara Crosbie-Hill. She was the eldest daughter of W. S. J. Crosbie-Hill, JP, of the Red House, Sevenoaks, Kent. They had one son and one daughter. His first wife died in 1921 in tragic circumstances. In 1923 Masterton-Smith married Marjorie, the only daughter of Hubert B. Marten of 15 Mallord Street, London, SW3.
Masterton-Smith was educated at Harrow School and Hertford College, Oxford.
He entered the Home Civil Service (Class I). His career in bullet-points:
• 1901 Admiralty
• 1904-1908 Private Secretary to the Second Sea Lord
• 1908-1910 Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary
• 1910-1917 Private Secretary to successive First Lords of the Admiralty (Mr Reginald McKenna, Mr Winston Churchill, Mr Arthur Balfour, Sir Edward Carson, and Sir Eric Geddes)
• Sep 1917 - Jan 1919 Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Munitions
• 1919-1920 Assistant Secretary, War Office and Air Ministry
• 1920-1921 Joint Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour
• 1921-1924 Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
• 1924 retired.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.


Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs

Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.

Test your skill

Regency familiar faces

Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.

Play today

Who do you think you were?

Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!

Start now