Henry Smith (c.1775/1778–1840) was Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Bristol from 1815 to 1822. Masonic provinces roughly equate to the counties of England and Wales, and operate as regional grand lodges under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of Freemasonry in England and Wales. In this portrait the sitter is wearing the regalia of the Royal Arch, another Masonic order. However, his sash is worn in the wrong direction, so this could be a self portrait that he painted using a mirror. Smith was an accomplished amateur artist who oversaw the decoration of two Masonic halls in Bristol. In 1809, after an argument at a theatre, Henry Smith and a man named Richard Priest had a duel. Priest was wounded in the thigh and, although Smith administered aid, Priest died a few hours later. Smith initially escaped abroad but was cleared of charges when he returned.
Where to see this painting?
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
60 Great Queen Street, London, Greater London, England, WC2B 5AZ
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.
More on this painting
purchased at Phillips, Son & Neale by the United Grand Lodge of England, 1970