The Huxley Building.
Original home of the Royal School of Mines.
Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth
SIR WARINGTON WILKINSON SMYTH, (1817-1890), British geologist, was
born at Naples on the 26th of August 1817, his father, Admiral W. H.
Smyth (1788-1865), being at the time engaged in the Admiralty Survey of
the Mediterranean. He was educated at
Westminster and Bedford schools, and afterwards at
College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1839. Having gained a
travelling scholarship he spent more than four years in
Syria and Egypt, paying great attention to mineralogy and mining,
examining coalfields, metalliferous mines and salt-works, and making
acquaintance with many distinguished geologists and mineralogists. On
his return to England in 1844 he was appointed mining geologist in the
Geological Survey, and in 1851 lecturer at the
post which he held until 1881 when he relinquished the chair of
mineralogy but continued as professor of mining. In later years he
became chief mineral inspector to the Office of Woods and Forests, and
also to the Duchy of Cornwall. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal
Society (F.R.S.). in 1858. He became
president of the Geological Society of London in 1866-1868, and in 1879
he was chairman of a Royal Commission appointed to inquire into
accidents in mines, the work in connection with which continued until
1886. He contributed sundry papers to the Memoirs of the Geological
Survey, the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society and
the Transactions of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall. He
was author also of “A Year with the Turks” (1854), and of “A Treatise
on Coal and Coal-Mining” (1867). He was knighted in 1887. He died in
the 19th of June 1890, and was buried at St Erth, not far from
his country home at Marazion in
portrait and some reminiscences of W. W. Smyth will be found in the
“Memoir of Sir A. C. Ramsay” (1895), by Sir A. Geikie.
From the 11th Edition
of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910-1911
Adapted from: "Descendant
Report for Benjamin Smyth" prepared by Robin Baden Clay (11th July
Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth was born 26 Aug 1817 in Naples and
died 19 Jun 1890 at age 72. He received his MA at Cambridge where he was
in the winning Boat Race crew in 1839. Smyth went on to study geology in
Germany; spent year in Turkey in 1844; was lecturer and then Professor
of Mineralogy at the Royal School of Mines. He later became Inspector of
Crown Minerals and a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).
spouse was Anna Maria Antonia Storey-Maskelyne. They were married in
1864 for 26 years. She was the daughter of Anthony Mervyn Storey-Maskelyne,
MA, FRS, JP, DL Brecon of Basset Down, Wiltshire by Margaret, only
daughter of Nevil Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal, DD, FRS.
and Sisters of Henrietta Grace Smyth (Children of Admiral William Henry
Smyth and Eliza Anne "Annarella" Warington, Uncles and Aunts of Robert
Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell):
Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth (1817-1890). Geologist.
Lecturer at the Royal School of Mines, Married Anna Maria Antonia
Storey-Maskelyne. Father of Major-General Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth,
V.C. and H. Warington Smyth, author of Five Years in Siam.
Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900). Astronomer Royal of
Elizabeth Anne Smyth (1819-1821?)
Jane Phoebe Smyth (1821-1842).
Henrietta Grace Smyth (1824-1914). Mother of Robert
General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth, K.C.M.G. (1825-1906).
Commandant of Woolwich, 1882; crushed Zulu rising, 1887; Governor of
Cape Colony, 1889 and of Malta, 1890. B-P served as his Military
Secretary in Natal and in Malta.
Josephine B. Smyth (1826-1847).
Ellen Philadelphia Smyth (1828-1881). Wife of Captain
Henry Toynbee. Meteorologist. F.R.A.S. Marine Superintendent of the
Meteorological Office, 1867-1888. Merchant Captain.
Caroline Mary Smyth (1834-1859).
Georgiana Rosetta Smyth (1835-1923).
||A Year with the Turks (1854).
Having gained a traveling scholarship, W. W. Smyth spent more than four
Syria and Egypt. His travels through the Ottoman Empire provide
fascinating insights into the Turks at the time of the "Eastern
Question" in Europe and some years before the Crimean War with
Russia. Preface and Chapter I.
||Full text of
A Year with the Turks (1854).
From Google Books.
||Full text of
on Coal and Coal Mining" (London, 1867) by Warington Wilkerson
Smyth, M.A., F.R.S., President of the Geologic Society, CHief Inspector
of the Mines of the Crown and of the Duchy of Cornwall. From Google
The Royal School of Mines — 150 Years of Excellence. Written by the
current Dean of the School, this articles celebrates an important
anniversary. The portrait to the left is that of T. H. Huxley, first
Dean of the RSM and a major figure in Victorian scientific circles. He
was a significant proponent of theories of Charles Darwin.
||Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth’s
Admiral William H. Smyth, rose through the ranks of the Royal Navy
to retire as an Admiral in 1863. He was a noted hydrographer and
and was Vice President of the Royal Society. According to his
great-grandson, his charts of the Mediterranean were still in use in
1961. His "Cycle of Celestial Objects" remains a classical text
in the history of astronomy and was republished in 1986.
Henrietta Grace Baden-Powell, 1824-1914. Links to Admiral W. H. Smyth
(B-P’s grandfather) and other members of the Smyth family including:
Charles Piazzi Smyth, Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth, H. Warington Smyth,
General Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth and Nevil Maskelyne.
Charles Piazzi Smyth was
Henrietta Grace’s brother and hence Uncle to B-P. He was well known as
an astronomer (he was Astronomer Royal of Scotland) and was considered
an authority on the pyramids of Giza.
||H. Warington Smyth, M.A,, LL.B., F.G.S.,
F.R.G.S., a son of Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth. He was Director of the Department of Mines in Siam, and later
Secretary of Mines and Industries in the Union of South Africa. He was the
author of several books, including: Five Years in Siam, Mast
and Sail in Europe and Asia, Sea Wake and Jungle Trail and
Chase and Chance in Indochina. He was B-P’s first cousin.
Sir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth,
son of Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth and B-P’s
first cousin. He had a distinguished career in the army, rising to the
rank of Major-General. He won the Victoria Cross at the Battle of
Nevil Maskelyne, Fifth
Astronomer Royal was grandfather to B-P’s Uncle Sir Warington Wilkinson
Smyth, brother of Henrietta Grace Smyth Baden-Powell.
General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth, K.C.M.G.
(1825-1906) was Henrietta’s youngest brother and Uncle to B-P. He served as an
officer in the Royal Artillery rising to the rank of full general in 1891. He
was Commandant of of the Royal Artillery Institution at Woolwich, 1882. He was
responsible for crushing the Zulu rising in Natal in 1887; served as Governor of
Cape Colony, 1889 and of Malta, 1890. B-P served as his Military Secretary in
Natal and in Malta. He had a long and distinguished military and colonial career
as outlined in the short biographical essay written by his nephew and B-P’s
youngest brother Francis Smyth Baden-Powell.
Baden-Powell Family History.
A series of links based on
the research of Robin Baden Clay, a grandson of Baden-Powell. They are
focused on the genealogy of the Powell family. The author is extremely
grateful to Mr. Clay for sharing the results of his labors with the
Scouting community. Links are provided to pages for three of B-P’s
brothers: Baden, Warington and Sir George Baden-Powell as well as to the
genealogy of the Smyth and Warington families.
||Baden-Powell Home Page
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P. Orans, 2002
Last Modified: 9:46 AM on November 29, 2002