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Charles Frederic Stuart Smith

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Charles Frederic Stuart Smith (1828-1864)

1859 Charles Frederic Stuart Smith, Cinder Hill, near Nottingham.[1]

1869 Obituary [2]

MR. CHARLES FREDERIC STUART SMITH was the only son of George Warwick and Maria Albinia Smith, of Derby, and the grandson of John ('Warwick') Smith, the eminent landscape painter, being also descended, on his mother’s side, from Paul Sandby, R.A., the founder of the English school of water-colour painting, and from Thomas Sandby, B.A., the first professor of architecture at the Royal Academy, and Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park.

He was born at Shenstone, in Staffordshire, on the 21st of December, 1828, and commenced his education under the tuition of the Rev. J. Wakefield, of Derby, as a private pupil.

Subsequently, from 1840 to 1846, he was a pupil of the Rev. Dr. Fletcher, Head Master of the Collegiate Grammar School, at Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

With the view of taking orders in the church, he afterwards proceeded to Pembroke College, Oxford, where he completed his education ; but, as he felt a decided preference for an active professional life, and evinced a considerable talent fur engineering, and a taste for scientific pursuits, his parents’ idea of his becoming a clergyman was abandoned, and in July, 1850, he was articled as a Civil and Mining Engineer to Mr. John Woodhouse (M. Inst. C.E.).

On the completion of his professional course of instruction, he became, in 1854, one of Mr. Woodhouse’s assistants, and continued in that capacity until December, 1858, when he received the appointment of Resident Engineer and Viewer to the extensive collieries, near Nottingham, belonging to Mr. Thomas North. Under the direction of the viewer, Mr. Smith succeeded in lighting the underground roads in the pits with gas ; this being the first introduction of gas into mines in the Midland Counties. During this period he displayed considerable practical scientific knowledge of the ventilation of mines, and the precautions to be adopted for guarding against accidents by fire and after-damp, and also in the sinking and tubbing of deep shafts through heavily-watered and difficult strata, in the winning and sinking of mines generally, in the construction of branch lines of railway, the erection of buildings, bridges, &c.

In the year 1861, he commenced to practice the profession of a Civil and Mining Engineer on his own account in Derby, and received the appointment of Viewer to several important collieries in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, the duties of which office he zealously performed to the entire satisfaction of the proprietors.

The career of active usefulness and ultimate success, of which these various labours gave indication, was unhappily suddenly brought to an end. An attack of erysipelas in the head, induced by exposure to severe cold, after making an inspection of one of the mines in Derbyshire, terminated fatally, in the brief space of three days, taking him away in the flower of his youth, and at a time when, undoubtedly, a bright prospect lay before him.

Mr. Smith expired at his residence, Wellington House, Derby, on Monday, the 8th of February, 1864, being little more than thirty-five years of age.

He was elected an Associate of The Institution of Civil Engineers on the 4th of February, 1862; he was also a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; and a Member of the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers.

At the meeting of this Institution, held at Birmingham in July, 1861, Mr. Smith read a Paper, illustrated by maps, 'On the Winning and Working of Cinderhill Colliery, near Nottingham.'

By urbanity of manner, assiduity in the performance of his duties, and kindness towards all with whom he was associated, Mr. Smith rendered himself deservedly popular; and deep was the sorrow of his wife, parents, relatives, and friends, at the loss of one who was so much beloved by all who enjoyed his intimate acquaintance.

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