Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,395 pages of information and 211,465 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William Henry Smith (1792-1865)

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William Henry Smith (1792–1865)

Originally a newsagent in a small way of business, Smith had the idea of sending London newspapers to provincial towns and rural districts by the morning mail coaches and by local services of swift-horsed carts, rather than by the traditional post office night mails.

Later he chartered express trains and, on one occasion, a boat to deliver the news promptly.

1847 Used a special train to deliver newspapers from London to Glasgow quickly; the final leg from Beattock was by road[1]

His business eventually became W. H. Smith and Son.

He was stern and irritable in his personal dealings but was meticulous, ambitious, and exacting in business, eventually ruining his health and nerves by the pitch at which he worked.

Married Mary Ann Cooper; one son William Henry Smith and 6 daughters

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of William Henry Smith, ODNB