Thomas Algernon Smith-Dorrien-Smith

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Tresco Abbey, his home on Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Lieutenant Thomas Algernon Smith-Dorrien-Smith JP, DL, (7 Feb 1846 – 6 Aug 1918) was Lord Proprietor of the Isles of Scilly from 1872 – 1918.[1]


Thomas Algernon Smith-Dorrien-Smith was born on 7 February 1846 at Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. He was the son of Robert Algernon Smith-Dorrien (died 8 October 1879) and Mary Ann Drever.[2] His younger brother was Horace Smith-Dorrien. He married Edith Anna Maria Tower (d. 17 Jan 1892), daughter of Christopher Theron Tower and Lady Sophia Frances Cust, on 8 April 1875. The children of this marriage were:

  • Major Arthur Algernon Smith-Dorrien-Smith (28 Jan 1876 – 30 May 1955) married on 11 May 1909 to Eleanor Salvin Bowlby, daughter of Edward Salvin Bowlby and Elizabeth Vans Agnew.
  • Mary Sophia Smith-Dorrien-Smith (9 Nov 1877 – 22 Dec 1948) married on 3 July 1902 to Townshend Evelyn Boscawen, son of Rev Hon John Townshend Boscawen and Mary Tremayne.
  • Major Edward Pendarves Smith-Dorrien-Smith (26 Feb 1878 – 12 Oct 1937) married on 2 June 1915 to Frances Amy Salvin Bowlby, daughter of Edward Salvin Bowlby and Elizabeth Vans Agnew.
  • Edith Innis Smith-Dorrien-Smith (b. 1 Jan 1881)
  • Cicely Frances Smith-Dorrien-Smith (b. 4 Nov 1882)
  • Gwendolen Smith-Dorrien-Smith (b. 7 Nov 1883)
  • Charlotte Smith-Dorrien-Smith (b. c 1886)

He was given the name of Thomas Algernon Smith-Dorrien at birth. In 1872 he changed his name by Royal Licence to Thomas Algernon Smith-Dorrien-Smith.


He was educated at Harrow School. From 1864 to 1874 he served in the 10th Royal Hussars achieving the rank of Lieutenant.

He succeeded his uncle, Augustus Smith as Proprietor of the Isles of Scilly in 1872, and continued the development of the Tresco Abbey Gardens. He designed St Nicholas's Church, Tresco which was built between 1877 and 1879. He is considered to be the person who saw the potential for the export of flowers from the Islands,[3] a trade which continues to this day. A week after his marriage, the SS Schiller was wrecked in the Isles of Scilly. William I, German Emperor awarded him the Order of the Red Eagle and his wife a gold bracelet for their work with survivors.

He was a Justice of the Peace, and later Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall. He was elected a Member of the British Ornithologists' Union in 1904.[4] A friend, Edward Rodd, in his annual report to the Royal Institution of Cornwall records the number of birds shot by Lt Smith-Dorrien-Smith during the Isles of Scilly shooting season. These were 545 common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), 415 Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) and 42 jack snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus). Rodd also received an immature purple heron (Ardea purpurea) and a wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola) for his collection.[5]


  1. ^ Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 18th edition, London 1965–1972, volume 1, page 87.
  2. ^ "Death of Col Smith-Dorrien". The Cornishman (65). 11 October 1879. p. 4.
  3. ^ Golden Harvest: The Story of Daffodil Growing in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Andrew Tompsett, Alison Hodge, 2006
  4. ^ The ibis, Volume 1, British Ornithologists' Union, 1919
  5. ^ Rodd, Edward Hearle (5 June 1879). "Cornish Ornithology, 1878–79". The Cornishman (47). p. 5.
Preceded by
Augustus Smith
Lord Proprietor of the Isles of Scilly
Succeeded by
Arthur Dorrien-Smith