Charles Loraine Smith
Charles Loraine Smith
Smith in 1834 by William Brown
1 April 1751
|Died||24 August 1835(aged 84)|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Ann Skrine|
Charles Loraine Smith or Charles Loraine (1 April 1751 – 24 August 1835) was a sportsman, artist and politician. He inherited his family seat in Enderby, Leicestershire while still a boy. He was a keen horseman and his paintings of animals are well regarded. He painted both parodies and more serious subjects. He served in the British parliament, was mentioned in a divorce case, met the pope and rose to be a High Sheriff of Leicestershire.
Charles Loraine was born in 1751. His father was Sir Charles Loraine, the 3rd baronet of Kirk Harle, and his family's seat became Enderby Hall near Leicester when he gained an inheritance from his great uncle Richard Smith of Enderby. He took his great-uncle's name by an act of Parliament in 1762 whilst still a boy. Loraine attended Eton College and Christ's College, Cambridge.
When Smith was in Florence he posed for a painting by Johann Zoffany of the Tribuna of the Uffizi. Smith is shown in a group with Zoffany who is showing a painting by Raphael now called the Niccolini-Cowper Madonna after Earl Cowper who is also in the group. Zoffany's painting was a commission for Queen Charlotte and Zoffany had decided to include quite a few British people who lived in or who were visiting Florence. Smith stood as a member of Parliament just once in 1784 for Leicester. He supported Pitt the Younger's plans for reform and he gave a number of speeches on the subjects of India, Canada and against the receipts tax and the slave trade.
Smith and his wife Elizabeth's first child, Charles Crayle, was born in 1782 and died young. In 1783 Smith became the High Sheriff of Leicestershire. His other child was Loraine Smith born in 1784. That same year Smith sold the estate at Oddington which had been left to his wife by Crayle Crayle in 1780.
The National Portrait Gallery has a copy of a print of a drawing by Smith whilst Leicester Museums has an oil painting by Smith of the Billesdon Coplow Run. The Coplow run was a race on horseback for fox huntsmen that was celebrated in verse by the poetic bishop Robert Lowth.
Smith used his knowledge of fox hunting and his artistic skills to paint parodies. His titles included Loss of the Chaplain and his 1822 The Rendezvous of the Smoking Hunt at Braunstone. The latter parodies how fox hunting had become so fashionable that riders might smoke, even though this might prevent the dogs from finding the fox's scent. These paintings were produced as prints with engraving by J.Watson.
Smith was a celebrity because of his interest in fox hunting. He was a good friend of Hugo Meynell, who was called "the first foxhunter in the kingdom". Meynell was the master of the Quorn Hunt and Smith was entrusted with that role in Meynell's absence. Smith wrote a self-deprecating poem on his skills, but there were several poems written and published about his exploits by others.
Loraine and Lord Maynard were there, and can tell
Who in Justice's scale holds the balance so well
As very good judges and justices too
The state of each horse, and what each man did do:
But if any one thinks he is quizzed in the song
And fancies his case stated legally wrong
To Enderby Hall let him go and complain
But he'll not mend his case, if he meets with Loraine.
His skills as a horseman enabled him to sell horses for large sums. He sold one horse for three hundred pounds.
Death, resurrection and death
He was reputedly grateful for being in good health to his 85th year. Smith died on Sunday 23 August 1835 in his armchair. His celebrity was such that not only was a poem published in good humour about his imagined death many years before the event, but another poem which imagined his resurrection was written by Mr Heyrick in light-hearted reply.
Oh !how could you bury our neighbour so soon !
Why, his boots were just black'd, and his fiddle in tune.
As a staunch, steady sportsman, and quite orthodox.
He'd been taking a glass to the hounds and the fox :
In his moments of mirth, he would sometimes drink deep ;
When you thought he was dead — he was only asleep!
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charles Loraine Smith.|
- Obituary, C L Smith, Gentleman's magazine (1835), p. 430
- Charles Loraine Smith, History of Parliament, retrieved 8 June 2014
- George Carpenter, History of Parliament, retrieved 7 June 2014
- A key to the people shown, oneonta.edu, retrieved 7 June 2014
- Annual Register 1781–1792 by Edmund Burke
- 'Parishes: Oddington', A History of the County of Gloucester: volume 6 (1965), pp. 87–98. Date accessed: 07 June 2014
- Charles Loraine Smith, NPG, retrieved 6 June 2014
- 1 painting by or after Charles Loraine Smith at the Art UK site
- Poem by Robert Lowth, Marlborough Rare Books, retrieved 6 June 2014
- Foxhunting and the landscape between 1700 and 1900.., Jane Bevan, October 2011, UEA, retrieved 8 June 2014
- Lot 127, Bonhams, retrieved 8 June 2014
- "MEYNELL, Hugo (1735–1808), of Bradley, Derbys". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Delmé Radcliffe, Frederick Peter (1839). The Noble Science. R. Ackerman. pp. 323–326.
|Parliament of Great Britain|
| Member of Parliament for Leicester
With: John Macnamara 1784–1790
Sir John Palmer
| High Sheriff of Leicestershire
Charles Grave Hudson, 1st Baronet