Erasmus Smith

(1611—1691) merchant and educational benefactor

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(1611–91), merchant and alderman of London, and Cromwellian land speculator. In 1657 he vested a portion of his Irish estates, 12,400 out of some 46,000 acres, in trustees, who included Thomas Harrison (Henry Cromwell's chaplain), Henry Jones (vice-chancellor of Trinity College), and several prominent Independent clergymen. They were to found and maintain schools ‘so that the poor children inhabiting any part of his lands in Ireland should be brought up in the fear of God, and good literature and to speak the English tongue’. Scholarships to Trinity College were to be available for the most able children.


From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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