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date: 21 October 2019

Smith, Frederick Edwin, first Earl of Birkenheadlocked

(1872–1930)
  • Schuster

Extract

Smith, Frederick Edwin, first Earl of Birkenhead(1872–1930), lord chancellor, was born at Birkenhead 12 July 1872, the eldest son of Frederick Smith, of Birkenhead, by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Edwin Taylor, of Birkenhead. His father, after an adventurous early manhood, had settled down to the family business of an estate agent, in which he prospered. He took part in local politics, was called to the bar by the Middle Temple, and became mayor of Birkenhead. He died in early middle age (1887), leaving his widow with three sons and two daughters. Frederick Edwin Smith always acknowledged that he inherited from his father his rhetorical gifts, his inclination to the bar as a profession, and his ambition. From his mother, perhaps, came the more stable elements in his character. Mrs. Smith's financial resources were slender, though in later years her son was disposed to exaggerate the poverty of the family. She, with help from a relation, was able to provide a good education for her children. F. E. Smith was sent to ...

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