George Smith (Bishop of Victoria)
Anglican bishop of Hong Kong
|Born||June 19, 1815|
Wellington, Somerset, England
|Died||December 14, 1871 (aged 56)|
Blackheath, Kent, England
Smith was born in Wellington, Somerset on 19 June 1815. He obtained a BA in classics from Oxford in 1837 (and an MA in 1843 and DD in 1849) and was ordained as a deacon in 1839 and a priest in 1840 in the Church of England. He rapidly became involved in the Church Missionary Society and he and the Revd Thomas McClatchie arrived in Shanghai on 25 September 1844 to establish a mission. Poor health forced an early return to England, but Smith's Narrative of his period in China was published in 1847.
Smith worked hard to rise money for further missionary work in China, and in 1849 was made bishop of the new diocese of Victoria (Hong Kong) and warden of the newly founded St Paul's Missionary College (see St. Paul's College). With his new wife Lydia, née Brandram, Smith arrived in Hong Kong on 29 March 1850 and threw himself into missionary and educational work. He learned Mandarin, becoming sufficiently fluent to conduct services in it.
Smith was also responsible for missionary work in China and Japan. A weak constitution limited this work, but he nevertheless visited Japan (1860), the Ryukyu islands (1850), India and Ceylon (1852–1853), Australia (1859), and elsewhere, partly to work for emigrants from China.
Books by Smith
- George Smith (Bishop of Victoria (Hong Kong)) (1854). China, Her Future and Her Past: ... a charge delivered on Oct. 20, 1853. London: Thomas Hatchard.
- George Smith (1861). 10 Weeks in Japan. Longman, Green, Longman, & Roberts.
- George Smith (1848). The Case of Our West-African Cruisers and West-African Settlements Fairly Considered. London: J. Hatchard & Son.
- Lewchew and the Lewchewans: Being a narrative of a visit to Lewchew or Loo Choo, in October, 1850. London, 1853. About the Ryukyu Islands. (Also available here.)
- Our national relations with China: Being two speeches delivered in Exeter Hall and in the Free-Trade Hall, Manchester. London, 1857.
- Smith, George (1847). A narrative of an exploratory visit to each of the consular cities of China, and to the islands of Hong Kong and Chusan, in behalf of the Church Missionary Society, in the years 1844, 1845, 1846. London: Seeley. [digitized by University of Hong Kong Libraries, Digital Initiatives, "China Through Western Eyes." ]
- Bickley, Gillian. "George Smith (1815–1871)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 51:124–125.
|New diocese|| Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong
Charles Richard Alford
Rev. Vincent John Stanton
| Principal and Warden of St Paul's College
Charles Richard Alford