Was my wife’s family in business?
QMy wife’s 4x great grandparents (Henry Smith and Lucy Kendrick) were married at St Mary’s Church in Lambeth, London, on 15 September 1792. I cannot determine the first name of one of the Smiths at the bottom of their marriage record and wonder if you can tell me what it may be. I understand that both of these Smiths may have worked at the Bank of England and am trying to find out if there is any link between Henry and that well-known Smith banking family that also produced a number of politicians.
Mike Sewell, by email
AThe signature of the Smith witness on the marriage of Henry Smith is of Enos Smith. Enos was an articled clerk to John Whitwell Banyard, an attorney of the Kings Bench.
There is an article deed dated 13 March 1784, which contains his signature (see illustration) and comparing the signatures of both records they appear to be identical, particularly the style of the E of Enos. The deed was witnessed by a William Smith, who may well be related.
Regarding the possible relationship between Enos and Henry, it is important to use normal genealogical techniques to establish such. A search of the online resources for London baptism registers did not provide evidence of them being siblings and neither were identified with a father William so it is possible that they are extended family.
One or either may not have originated in London and with a common surname of Smith unravelling family groups is going to involve careful research and elimination practices.
Some clues may exist by pursuing two possible Henry Smiths of the time identified in Law Lists c1790-1800. One was the Clerk to the Drapers’ Company (records held at Coventry History Centre – theherbert.org), the other a solicitor with the East India Company (records held at the British Library – bl.uk). Both avenues need further research in the two company archives.
Resulting from preliminary
searches, I cannot link Henry or Enos directly with the Smith banking family. Abel Smith, the owner who died in 1788, was succeeded by three of his sons – George, Samuel and John. None of his five sons had the name of Henry or Enos.
The archive records for Smith and Payne (the original London Bank) and associated family banks in Lincoln, Hull and Derby can be found at the RBS Heritage Hub in Edinburgh and this may be the place to confirm if there is likely to be a connection through directorships or shareholdings. Its website can be found at heritagearchives.rbs.com.
Enos Smith’s signature on an artic article deed and marriage record