Francis (1672–1738) and William (1661–1724) were important master-builders and architects in the English Midlands in the first quarter of C18. Francis, known as ‘Smith of Warwick’, was based in that town, and was largely responsible for its rebuilding after the fire of 1694. The brothers rebuilt (1698–1704) the Collegiate Church of St Mary to designs by Sir William Wilson (1641–1710) in an airy, vaguely Gothic style of considerable originality. They carried out numerous ecclesiastical commissions in the Midlands, Francis being responsible for Gainsborough Church, Lincs. (1736–44). William designed Stanford Hall, Leics. (1697–1700), and the brothers were active over a wide geographical area. Colvin gives an impressive list of their works in his Dictionary (1995), and Gomme (2000) covers Francis's œuvre in some detail. Francis designed Stoneleigh Abbey, Warwicks. (1714–26), in a Baroque style, but many of his houses are plain. His Court House, Warwick (1725–30), is in a refined Palladian style. Francis's son, William Smith (1705–47), was also an architect and builder, specializing in a competent Palladianism. Among his works are Catton Hall, Derbys. (c. 1742–5), Kirtlington Park, Oxon. (1742–7), and Thame Park, also Oxon. (c.1745).
Architectural History, xxxv (1992), 183–8;Colvin (1995);Downes (1966);Gomme (2000);Hussey (1965);Lees-Milne (1970);Warwickshire History, ii/2 (1972–3), 3–13