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William Henry Smith
- Favourite Briton.

London
Born on 24th of June 1825
Died on 6th of October 1891

Smith was the third generation of his family to run their newsagents and bookseller business, and contrary to the usual build-expand-spend generational pattern he took it to new heights, three years after becoming a partner (in 1846) his coup of winning the concession to sell at railway stations proving hugely lucrative. His second career was as a politician, appointed First Lord of the Admiralty (without any seagoing experience) 10 years after entering the Commons (his meteoric rise satirised in HMS Pinafore). A capable and loyal minister he also served as First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the Commons.

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On this day:
Scilly Naval Disaster 2000 Drown - 1707, First Plastic Surgery in Britain - 1814, Blantyre Mining Disaster - 1877, Crippen convicted at Old Bailey - 1910, George Blake Escapes from Wormwood Scrubs - 1966
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