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Reverend Percival Clementi-Smith

Reverend Percival Clementi-Smith

Person  Male  Born 29/3/1848  Died 23/12/1925

Categories: Religion

Countries: Canada

Active in 1901 as rector of St Andrew by the Wardrobe.

From A lord mayor's diary, 1906-7: "Rev. Percival. Clementi-Smith . . . has a very good head of white hair and a fine healthy-looking, good-humoured countenance, and who would certainly make a good representation of the Vicar of Wakefield on a film."

Our colleague, Andrew Behan, has researched the man and found that his birth was registered as Percival Clementi Smith and it was not until an entry dated 14 June 1890 in the marriage register at St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe church that the hyphen between Clementi and Smith started to appear. Prior to this date the register shows his signature as P. Clementi Smith. Subsequent entries contain the hyphen.

Percival Clementi Smith was born on 29 March 1848 at Mercers School, College Hill, London, a son of John Smith (1805-1868) and Cecilia Susannah Smith née Clementi (1815-1871). His mother was the daughter of the composer Muzio Clementi (1852-1832). On 27 April 1848 he was baptised by his father who was the Curate at St Michael's Paternoster Royal where the baptismal register shows the family were residing at College Hill.

The 1851 census shows him living at the Parsonage, at Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Essex, with his parents, eight siblings: Algernon Emerick Clementi Smith (1835-1916), Herbert Clementi Smith (1836-1905), Hamilton Clementi Smith (1837-1855), Montague Clementi Smith (1839-1919), Cecil Clementi Smith (1840-1916), Georgina Clementi Smith (b.1843), Reginald Vincent Clementi Smith (1844-1866), Alicia Madelina Clementi Smith (b.1846), Eugene Clementi Smith (1847-1901), together with a cook and two housemaids. His father was shown as a perpetual curate.

In the 1861 he is described as a scholar residing at The Rectory, Buckhurst Hill, Essex with his parents, seven siblings: Georgina, Reginald, Alicia, Eugene, Emma Clementi Smith (b.1851), Frederick Clementi Smith (1853-1925) and Cecilia Clementi Smith (1855-1935), together with a cook, a nursemaid, a housemaid, a gardener with his wife and child. His father was shown as the Rector.

He attended St John's College, Cambridge where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1867 and his Master of Arts in 1871. On 16 April 1869 he was admitted to Freedom of the City of London, by paternity, into the Worshipful Company of Mercers. When the 1871 census was taken he was shown as a student of theology, boarding at Cuddesdon College of Theology, now known as Ripon College, Wheatley Road, Cuddesdon, Oxford, OX44 9EX. 

He was ordained as a deacon in Lichfield, Staffordshire in 1872 and was a priest and curate from 1873 to 1876 at Stoke on Tern, Shropshire. In 1877 he went to Canada as a missionary serving first at Vaudreuil, Quebec, in 1877-8; at Mansonville, Quebec, in 1878-9; and at Peterborough, Ontario, in 1879-80.

Returning to England he was appointed as a curate at St Paul's, Brighton from 1880 to 1885. In the 1881 census he is shown as clerk in holy orders, boarding at 63 Upper North Street, Brighton, Sussex, the home of Emily Miriam Ade (1855-1944) and Clara Helena Measor (1852-1927). He was the curate of St Mary Magdalene, Lincoln from 1885 to 1886. 

The 1891 census shows him at the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, lodging at 'Lorraine', Babbacombe Road, Torquay, the home of a Mary Robertson. He was subsequently appointed as the rector of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, Queen Victoria Street, London a post he held until he retired in 1923.

On 17 July 1899 he married Annie May Dunster (1866-1949) at St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe where in the marriage register he is described as a clerk in holy orders residing at the Rectory of St Andrew's whilst his wife was shown as a spinster of Knockholt, Kent. In the 1901 census he is listed as a clergyman (Church of England) living at 35 St Andrews Hill, London, EC, with his wife, together with a cook, a parlour-maid and a housemaid.

He was the Master of the Worshipful Company of Mercers in 1904-05 and President of Sion College, 56 Victoria Embankment, London, in 1906-07. The London Gazette dated 13 July 1909 shows that he was re-appointed as a Fourth Class Acting Chaplain ranking as Captain in the 3rd (City of London) Volunteer Rifle Corps.

In the 1911 census he describes himself as a clergyman (Established Church) living at St Andrew's Rectory, St Andrew's Hill, London, with his wife, together a cook, a parlour-maid and a housemaid. He was the Chaplain to the Lord Mayor of London in 1913 and 1916.

Probate records confirm that his home address was 'Elehanan', High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, when he died, aged 77 years, on 23 December 1925. Probate was granted to his widow on 25 February 1926 and his effects totalled £16,353-0s-11d.

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Reverend Percival Clementi-Smith

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