The face of Joshua Smith!!

September 28, 2011 at 7:44 am (people, portraits and paintings, research) (, , , , , , , , , )

Thanks to a reader giving me a heads up on a bookplate, I literally stumbled upon this image — and the connotation is that this portrait is JOSHUA SMITH of ERLE STOKE PARK.


I’ve emailed the seller to find out whatEVER info might have led eBay seller Prexiepost or Photobucket’s RobertsonBruce to think — or know — this is a portrait of my Joshua. But if this little “pitch” here helps to answer that question also, I pitch away!

On the hunt for the library of Erle Stoke’s bookplate, I came across these “finds,” the first about a book belonging to Joshua — now, thanks to Mike H. at Tring Park School, I have Joshua’s will and can see how he divided his property (once I decipher the extremely terrible hand of the probate copywriter!):

  • Maggs Rare Books is selling a copy (£800) of Boswell’s An Account of Corsica (who knew Joshua read any of Boswell’s writings?!? fascinating!!). The listing says “Contemporary bookplate of Joshua Smith of Stoke Park, Wiltshire.”
  • Neale’s Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen (1823) which includes Earl Stoke Park

* * *

BREAKING UPDATE even before the post is published: It IS Joshua!!!!!


Permalink Leave a Comment

Born on this day

January 4, 2011 at 9:55 am (a day in the life, people, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

by Frenchie (Photobucket)

January 4, 1772 – Miss Augusta Smith, third daughter of Joshua Smith of Erle Stoke Park (Wiltshire) and his wife Sarah Gilbert, daughter of Nathaniel Gilbert of Antigua.

Miss Smith married, in 1798, Mr Charles Smith (no relation) of Suttons in Essex.

The couple had nine children – including (2nd daughter, 3rd child) Emma — who, in 1828, married the only son of the Rev. James Austen of Deane and Steventon and his wife Martha Lloyd.

Thanks to Mark Woodford, of Networked Robotics, Miss Smith’s 1798 diary has surfaced! In this blog, she is often referred to as Mamma Smith — there are just so many ‘Augustas’, and it’s confusing that she was a Smith before marriage and remained a Smith after marriage… 

So, Happy Birthday Mamma Smith!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Just Gotta Share!

January 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm (estates, people, places) (, , , , , , , )

As always, looking for “something else” I came across this wonderful blog on Country Houses.

I’ve only just begun to look through “The Country Seat“, but see such gripping ‘news’ as where a proposed high-speed rail line may be located. When I spotted some choice comments on the Austen-related Stoneleigh Abbey, well I just had to hurry and post a link to the site.

I found this blog when visiting “Lost Heritage” — and don’t I see my dear Erle Stoke Park (the Wiltshire estate of grandpapa Joshua Smith) listed as lost to fire…. Though in my mind it “lives” on, as in Augusta Smith’s memory.

Many Essex estates are listed, some with additional information and a few with pictures; for instance Dagnams, home of the Neave family when Mary was writing. Others mentioned (“linked” if more info): Albyns (Abdy family); Dews Hall (Lockwood/Percivall [Percival]); Rolls Park (Harvey); Skreens (Bramston). This last is an especial loss: the Smiths visited the Bramstons so very often! I haven’t really looked at other counties, but see some familiar names in the likes of Hampshire… Take a look at the site for yourself.

BTW, if you want to visit the Stoneleigh Abbey website.

Permalink Leave a Comment