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Smithies, Thomas Bywater
1817-1883

WM layman, publisher and temperance advocate, born on 27 August 1817 in York, where he worked as a clerk in the York Insurance Company offices. He began the first temperance society in York, was an active Sunday SchoolSunday Schools worker and pioneered missionary meetings for children. At the age of 33 he became managing clerk at the Gutta Percha Works in City Road, London.

He was a friend of the Earl of Shaftesbury. Aware of the power of the written word, he devoted himself to the production of cheap and beautifully illustrated publications bearing his initials 'T.B.S.'. In 1851 he founded The Band of Hope Review, in 1855 The British Workman and The Weekly Welcome (1875). These were attractively produced, with engravings and articles from the most popular moral authors of the day. From 1856 he gave himself full-time to literary and editorial work. He gave full support to the evangelist James Caughey and was agent for his publications. He died on 20 July 1883.

Sources

  • The Christian Miscellany, 1883 pp.433-39
  • G.S. Rowe, T.B. Smithies, a memoir (1884)
  • G.J. Stevenson, Methodist Worthies (1884-86) 4 pp.588-91

Entry written by: EWD
Category: Person

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