SMITH, William Bestoe

1796 - 1889

William Bestoe Smith was baptised at Faringdon, Berkshire on 22 January 1796, son of William Smith (died 29 May 1852, aged 80), and his wife Ann. Young William married at St Peter's Church, Sudbury, Suffolk on 9 April 1822, Elizabeth Clerke (1805-1880) and settled in Sudbury as a chemist. In 1841, a surgeon, living at King Street, St Peter, Sudbury with his wife Elizabeth and a 15-year-old Sudbury born daughter, Isabella Harriett Case, who was baptised at Sudbury on 10 March 1824. Listed as W B Smith of Sudbury when he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1833 and as William Bestoesmith of Sudbury, Suffolk in 1836-1837 'A Riverside Setting with Fish', this painting was sold in 2004 for $950 and several of his works were used in 'Fulcher's Sudbury Pocketbooks'. A former Mayor of Sudbury, in July 1844 he was declared bankrupt and in 1851, a 56-year-old widower, 'Justice of the Peace and general medical practitioner', living at Friars Street, Sudbury with his unmarried daughter Isabella and retained three indoor servants. A partnership with George Henry King, surgeons & apothecaries, was dissolved on 1 February 1856, when William carried on the business. He married secondly at West Hackney Church, London on 14 November 1857, Harriet Dyer née Stalker, (died 3 November 1869), widow of John Clavill Dyer (1805-1846) and in 1861 was still living at Friar Street, Sudbury with a 54-year-old wife Harriet and a 21-year-old stepson Charles Dyer. William was again declared bankrupt on 17 February 1863 and spent his last years in pecuniary difficulties. In 1871, again a widower, still at 56 Friar Street, living with his daughter Isabella and on 2 May 1876 there was an auction at his home of some 43 of his pictures, volumes of art books and other chattels. William Bestoe Smith died at Sudbury on 31 May 1889 and his unmarried daughter died at Great Cornard, Sudbury on 6 March 1892 and both interred in Great Cornard Churchyard.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Sudbury, Suffolk
1833 352 Groupe of Fish, from Nature
1836 146 Fresh-Water Fish
1837 327 A Riverside Setting with Fish

Works by This Artist