Humfrey Smith 1655/6-1709

From Book Owners Online

Humfrey SMITH 1655/6-1709

Biographical Note

Son of Jasper Smith, of Chewstoke, Somerset. BA Queen's College, Oxford 1675, MA 1682. Vicar of Long Sutton, Somerset 1680-86, vicar of Townstall, with the curacy of St Saviour's, Dartmouth, Devon 1685-1709; canon of Exeter 1705.


In his will, Smith included "a schedule to be annexed to my ... will ... relating to my books and papers". His friend and fellow canon of Exeter Robert Burscough (1651-1709) was to oversee the disposal of his books and papers, selecting "some few such practical treatises as may be useful for my wife and family" and delivering them to her. He was to select and keep for himself "all such books in my study as he has not already in his own study". Of the remainder, any books not in Exeter Cathedral Library were to be given there, and after that "the rest of my books be distributed amongst such clergymen of our acquaintance as they may be useful to". Burscough was to "look over all my papers and manuscripts and burn all such as he thinks not to be of some use to himself especially a great number of sermon notes which are very imperfect and letters of no consequence". This schedule also reveals that Smith had been working with Edward Pocock (1648-1726, rector of Mildenhall, Wiltshire and son of the celebrated Oxford oriental scholar of the same name, 1604-1691) on editing an Arabic text and on writing a biography of the elder Pocock, as Burscough was to "carefully gather together all the papers I had from Mr Edward Pocock and together with his Specimen History Arabum return them all to him", along with that part of the biography written by Smith.


  • Foster, J. Alumni Oxonienses. London, 1888.
  • Lloyd, L. J. The library of Exeter Cathedral, 1967, p.15.
  • Thomas, P. Medicine and science at Exeter Cathedral Library, 2003, p.viii.