James Louis Macie Smithson

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James Louis Macie Smithson

Also Known As: "Jacques Louis Macie"
Birthplace: Paris Seine, France
Death: Died in Genoa, Liguria, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland and Elizabeth Hungerford Keate
Half brother of General Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland and Algernon Percy, 1st Earl of Beverley

Managed by: Noah Gregory Tutak
Last Updated:

About James Louis Macie Smithson

James Smithson, F.R.S., M.A. (c. 1765 – 27 June 1829) was a British mineralogist and chemist noted for having left a bequest in his will to the United States of America, to create "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men" to be called the Smithsonian Institution.

Not much is known about Smithson's life: his scientific collections, notebooks, diaries, and correspondence were lost in a fire that destroyed the Smithsonian Institution Building in 1865;[1] only the 213 volumes of his personal library and some personal writings survived.

Smithson was born Jacques Louis Macie on an unknown date, in 1764 or 1765, in Paris, France, an illegitimate, unacknowledged son of an English landowner, the highly regarded and accomplished Sir Hugh Smithson, 4th Baronet of Stanwick, north Yorkshire, who had married into the Percy family. In 1766 he became 1st Duke of Northumberland, K.G.

James Smithson's mother was his father's mistress, Elizabeth Hungerford Keate, the daughter of John Keate, an uncle of George Keate (1729–1797) who was elected to the Royal Society in 1766.

Elizabeth was an heiress of the Hungerfords of Studley. She was also the widow of John Macie, of Weston, near Bath, Somerset; so the young Smithson originally was called Jacques Louis Macie.

His mother later married John Marshe Dickinson, a troubled son of Marshe Dickinson who was Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1757 and Member of Parliament. During this marriage, she had another son; but the 1st Duke of Northumberland, rather than Dickinson, is thought to have been the father of this second son also.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Smithson


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James Louis Macie Smithson's Timeline

Paris Seine, France
June 27, 1829
Age 64
Genoa, Liguria, Italy