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Thomas Stuart Smith, landscape and figure painter, and public benefactor, was the son of Thomas Smith, a Scottish merchant. The identity of his mother is unknown; she appears to have died before he could remember her and he may have been illegitimate. His grandfather, also Thomas and an Edinburgh merchant, had married Helen Jaffray, sister of Alexander Jaffray, Provost of Stirling, and they also had a younger son called Alexander, subsequently a merchant there. In 1810 Provost Jaffray conveyed to his two nephews, Thomas senior and Alexander, the estate of Glassingall six miles north of Stirling near Dunblane, which he had inherited from his own mother, Janet Stewart. It was her Jacobite family name that Thomas Stuart Smith appears later to have adopted variably and by choice as one of his own rather than being given it, though no baptismal record is known.

Text source: Art Detective


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