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MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES
FAMOUS FREEMASONS
James Smithson
[James Smithson]
Detail from a painting by Henri-Joseph Johns, tempera on paperboard, 1816, in the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
1765 - June 27, 1829
An English scientist who conducted research in chemistry, mineralogy, and geology, Smithson spent much of his life in Europe. He is remembered for providing the means to establish the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
Smithson was born in France in 1765. Named James Lewis Macie, he was the illegitimate son of Hugh Smithson, who later became the first Duke of Northumberland, and Elizabeth Keate Hungerford Macie, a widow of royal blood. Smithson left his substantial fortune to a nephew who died without issue. Under the terms of Smithson’s will, his estate was given to the United States to found "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."
Non-mason

Source: UGLE Library and Museum indexes do not contain his name. He is listed, uncited, in Freemasons Who Made a Difference, Jim Harrison. Vancouver : 1993.

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