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Encyclopedia > Sir Thomas Smith

Sir Thomas Smith (December 23, 1513 - August 12, 1577), was an English scholar and diplomat.

He was born at Saffron Walden in Essex. He became a fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge, in 1530, and in 1533 was appointed a public reader or professor. He lectured in the schools on natural philosophy, and on Greek in his own rooms. In 1540 Smith went abroad, and, after studying in France and Italy and taking a degree of law at the University of Padua, returned to Cambridge in 1542.

He now took the lead in the reform of the pronunciation of Greek, his views after considerable controversy being universally adopted. He and his friend, Sir John Cheke, were the great classical scholars of the time in England. In January 1543/4 he was appointed first Regius Professor of Civil Law. He was vice-chancellor of the university the same year. In 1547 he became provost of Eton College and dean of Carlisle.

He was an early convert to Protestant views, which brought him into prominence when Edward VI came to the throne. During Somerset's protectorate he entered public life and was made a secretary of state, being sent on an important diplomatic mission to Brussels. In 1548 he was knighted. On the accession of Queen Mary I he lost all his offices, but in the reign of her sister, Elizabeth, was prominently employed in public affairs. He became a member of parliament, and was sent in 1562 as ambassador to France, where he remained till 1566; and in 1572 he again went to France in the same capacity for a short time. He remained one of Elizabeth's most trusted Protestant counsellors, being appointed in 1572 chancellor of the Order of the Garter and a secretary of state.

Life's work

In 1583, Thomas Smyth wrote the book De Republica Anglorum; the Manner of Government or Policie of the Realme of England.

Preceded by:
Sir William Paulet
Secretary of State
Followed by:
Nicholas Wotton
Preceded by:
The Lord Burghley
Secretary of State
Followed by:
Thomas Wilson
Preceded by:
The Lord Howard of Effingham
Lord Privy Seal
Followed by:
Sir Francis Walsingham

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.

  Results from FactBites:
Sir Thomas Smith - LoveToKnow 1911 (415 words)
SIR THOMAS SMITH (1513-1577), English scholar and diplomatist, was born at Saffron Walden in Essex on the 23rd of December 1513.
In 1540 Smith went abroad, and, after studying in France and Italy and taking a degree of law at Padua, returned to Cambridge in 1542.
He and his friend Sir John Cheke were the great classical scholars of the time in England.
Ron Heisler - Michael Maier and England (2601 words)
Sir Thomas Smith was Treasurer of the Virginia Company, which was engaged in developing the colony of Virginia.
Sir Gervase Elwes, the lieutenant of the Tower, Mrs Anne Turner, Weston the gaoler, and Franklin were executed for their parts in the poisoning.
A paper of the Attorney-general, Sir Francis Bacon's, relates that "Mrs Turner did at Whitehall shew to Franklin the man, who, as she said, poisoned the prince, which, he says, was a physician with a red beard".
  More results at FactBites »



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