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Gerard Smith (governor)

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Gerard Smith, KCMG (28 October 1839 – 12 December 1920), a member of the Smith and Carington family, was a business leader, politician, and Governor of Western Australia from 1895 to 1900.

Sir Gerard Smith

12th Governor of Western Australia
In office
23 December 1895 – 30 April 1901
Preceded bySir William Robinson
Succeeded bySir Arthur Lawley
Member of Parliament for Wycombe
In office
Preceded bySir William Carington
Succeeded byViscount Curzon
Personal details
Born(1839-10-28)28 October 1839
Pimlico, London
Died12 December 1920(1920-12-12) (aged 81)
Spouse(s)Isabella Chatelaine Hamilton
RelationsMartin Tucker Smith (paternal grandfather)
Matthew White Ridley, 1st Viscount Ridley (maternal grandfather)
ParentsMartin Tucker Smith
Louisa (Ridley) Smith
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Branch/serviceBritish Army
Years of service1857–1874
RankLieutenant Colonel
UnitRoyal Scots Fusiliers

Early lifeEdit

Gerard Smith was born on 12 December 1839 in Pimlico, London. He was the third son of Martin Tucker Smith (1803–1880), politician, banker and director of the East India Co., and Louisa (Ridley) Smith. His paternal grandfather was John Smith (1767–1842), a banker and Tory Member of Parliament, and his maternal grandfather was Matthew White Ridley, a baronet.


Smith joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers as an ensign in 1857 and briefly saw service in Canada, retiring from the army in 1874. He joined the family bank, Samuel Smith, Bros. & Co., and went on to become a business leader in Kingston-upon-Hull, being instrumental in the formation of the Hull and Barnsley Railway in 1880. He succeeded his second cousin William Carington as a Liberal MP for Wycombe from 1883 to 1885,[1][2] and was a Groom in Waiting to Queen Victoria in the same period.

In 1895, Smith was appointed Governor of Western Australia and knighted.[3] He served as Governor until 1900.


Smith was a Freemason, being initiated into Studholme Lodge No. 1591 on 4 May 1880[4] at the age of 41. He was subsequently passed to the Second Degree and raised to the Third Degree within two months, and on 17 January 1890, became Worshipful Master of the Lodge. As was usual, when he was appointed Governor of Western Australia he was also appointed Past Junior Grand Warden of United Grand Lodge of England.

In 1898 he was appointed District Grand Master of the District Grand Lodge of Western Australia. He was a supporter of the Grand Lodge movement then active in the colony, allowing his lodges to discuss the question. When the Grand Lodge of Western Australia was consecrated on 27 February 1900, he was elected as its first Grand Master.[5]

However, as his term as Governor was rapidly drawing to a close, he remained Grand Master for only one year.


Smith died in London on 28 October 1920. His wife predeceased him in 1915.[3]


  1. ^ Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 344–345. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 5)
  3. ^ a b Crowley, Francis Keble (1988). "Smith, Sir Gerard (1839–1920)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 11. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Details for United Studholme Alliance Lodge No. 1591", Lane's Masonic Records, retrieved 11 June 2018
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir William Carington
Member of Parliament for Wycombe
Succeeded by
Viscount Curzon
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir William Robinson
Governor of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Lawley