Smith, William (1727-1803)

Anglican clergyman and educator.

Went to America (1751). Wrote a pamphlet on education entitled A General Idea of the College of Mirania …, which he sent to Franklin. Impressed by Smith’s ideas, Franklin offered him a teaching post at the Philadelphia Academy.

Before he could accept the position, Smith returned to England, where he was ordained as an Anglican priest. Returned to Philadelphia, where he became a teacher (1754). Eventually became provost of the Academy.

Smith supported the proprietary party and was often at odds with the Assembly in general and with Franklin in particular.

Elected to American Philosophical Society (1768), for which organization he eulogized Franklin (1791). Famous for arrogance and heavy drinking, Smith had few friends at his death.

Born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Married in 1758 to Rebecca Moore. Survived by five children.