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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Book - "Smith's Fragments in Prose and Verse"
Identifier: 2003.2.51
Donor: Barbara Sayers Larson
Item Date: 1814
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: The book is entitled "Smith's Fragments in Prose and Verse", by Miss Elizabeth Smith and H.M. Bowdler. It was published by T. Cadell and W. Davies Strand, in London, and printed by G. Woodall, Angel Court, Skinner St., in London. The book is a beautifully bound book in light brown leather with a gilt embossed pattern around the edges of the cover. The title on the spine is "Smith's Fragments". Inside the cover pages are patterned in mottled orange, white, blue, and black. The frontispiece has an engraving of Miss Smith, with the words "J. Barker poix", and "R.M. Meadows, sculpt." at each side of the oval picture. Beneath is written "From a drawing taken of the author during her last illness by J. G. Wood". On the opposite page there is an inscription in black ink which reads, "Margaret Harris, Nov. 11, From her affectionate friend CMP", along with the title "Fragments in Prose and Verse. By Miss Elizabeth Smith, lately deceased. With some account of HER LIFE AND CHARACTER, by H.M. Bowdler. A NEW EDITION. LONDON: Printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies Strand. 1814". On page 6, there is a note about the book's composition under the title 'Advertisement'. At the end of the advertisement there is a reference to 'Celebs in search of a wife'. The preface contains more flowery language introducing the circumstances of its production. The prose consists of letters to various friends and family members. On the title page reads in ink: "Margaret Harris, Nov 3 From her affectionate friend MP." [could also be CMP] Author Miss Smith seems to have been afflicted with consumption (Tuberculosis) from which she died. There is a memorial tablet at Hawkshead in Lake District, which is inscribed "In Memory of Elizabeth, eldest daughter of George Smith of Comston, Esq." She died 7 August 1806, aged 29. She possessed "great talents, exalted virtues and humble piety." The book might have belonged to Margaret Patton (née Harris) (-1877). Margaret Harris Patton was Captain James Beveridge Harris's (1797-1884) sister who married James Murray Patton of Perthshire, Scotland. Margaret, and her sister Matilda Lindsay (née Harris) (-1887), often sent ‘Canada Boxes’ filled with gifts, clothing, books, and credit to the Harris family at Benares The Harrises have had a long tradition with the Patton and Marshall families of Scotland. James Patton of Cairnies, James Murray’s father, was a prosperous Perth merchant and lawyer cousin to Thomas Hay Marshall, Lord Provost of Perth. After the death of Thomas Hay Marshall, Glenalmond Estate was bequeathed to James Patton, who bought the remaining land in 1808. James died in 1831, dividing his land up between his sons, James Murray, Thomas, and George. James Murray Patton inherited part of Glenalmond Estate with his brother, Thomas Patton. George, inherited Cairnies. When Thomas died in 1869, the whole estate passed on to his brother George Patton, then Lord Chief Justice Clerk. The same year, George committed suicide due to political and personal pressure, and Glenalmond was given to his widow. After her death, the estate was passed on to George’s sister, Margaret Anne Patton (-1878) in 1873. She eventually willed her property to her nephews Thomas Marshall Harris Jr. (1828-ca.1900) and Henry William Harris (1849-1876), who had both distinguished British military careers. They were also Arthur Harris’s first cousins. Arthur was supposed to inherit Glenalmond but because he would inherit Benares, the aunts believed his cousins should acquire the estate since they had no property. The Harris family of Benares connection to the Marshall and Patton families extends even further with the marriage of James Beveridge’s father, Major General John Harris (ca. 1760-1833), to one of Thomas Hay Marshall’s daughters, Margaret Marshall. Her sister, Ann Marshall, married James Patton of Cairnies. Through these marriages, Margaret Anne Patton and her brothers was therefore first cousins to Jam
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