Samuel Smith (1836–1906)  

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"Nothing more diabolical had ever been written by the pen of man ; they were only fit for swine, and those who read them must turn their minds into cesspools." --Samuel Smith on Zola

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Samuel Smith (1836 – 29 December 1906) was a British politician, known for his role in the Vizetelly trial. He served as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) from 1882 to 1885 and from 1886 to 1906.


Born near Borgue, Galloway, he was educated at Borgue parish school and Kirkcudbright Academy before attending Edinburgh University. He was apprenticed to a Liverpool cotton-broker in 1853. By 1864 he was head of the Liverpool branch of James Finlay & Co., a large cotton business of Glasgow and Bombay.

Smith was first elected to Parliament on 11 December 1882 in a by-election in Liverpool, following the Conservative MP Viscount Sandon's succession to the Peerage as Earl of Harrowby on 19 November 1882. The three-seat Liverpool constituency was split for the 1885 general election and Smith stood in the new Liverpool Abercromby seat. However, he lost to the Conservative candidate William Lawrence by 807 votes. He returned to Parliament in a by-election in Flintshire on 3 March 1886. This by-election followed the elevation to the Peerage of Lord Richard Grosvenor. Smith remained the seat's MP until he retired at the 1906 general election. He died later that year aged 70.

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