Henry Walton Smith

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Henry Walton Smith (1738–1792) was the founder of W H Smith, one of the United Kingdom's largest bookselling and newspaper vending businesses.


Brought up in Wrington in Somerset, Henry Walton Smith moved to London and became an assistant to Charles Rogers. In 1792, together with his wife Anna, he founded his news vending business in London.[1]

He died only a few months later on 23 August 1792.[1]


In 1784 he married Anna Eastaugh, a servant girl, leading to the loss of his inheritance.[2] They went on to have two sons, Henry Edward Smith and William Henry Smith, and one daughter, Mary Anne Smith.[3]


  1. ^ a b "History of WHSmith". WHSmith plc.
  2. ^ "Secrets of our favorite brands revealed". AZ Vision. 21 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  3. ^ Reade, Compton (1904). "The Smith family, being a popular account of most branches of the name--however spelt--from the fourteenth century downwards, with numerous pedigrees now published for the first time". Elliot Stock.